Hikers attacked, detained on suspicion of assault

Wednesday, July 31, 17:59 A group of five friends hiking in Wadi Zarqa, near Neve Tzuf in the Binyamin region, stopped at one of the springs in the area shortly after they set out on their hike. As they sat next to the spring a group of local Arabs threw large rocks at them from a great height. Only by a miracle were there no injuries in the attack. Four of the hikers took cover among boulders and the fifth ran to the road to summon assistance. Within a short time security personnel from nearby Jewish communities and border policemen arrived and began to rescue the hikers, at which time the Arab rioted on the road.
The rescuers reported that when they arrived on the scene they too were attacked by the Arabs who gathered on the road about 200 meters away from the site of the initial attack. According to one of the security personnel the border police were not wearing bullet-proof vests and attempted to subdue the rioters “in a friendly manner”. When the Israeli Police arrived on the scene the Arabs presented themselves as being the victims of an attack carried out by the Jewish hikers. The police chose to accept the testimony given by the Arabs and detained the five hikers on suspicion of assault as they advised the Arabs to report to the police station in order to file a complaint on the attack.
The detained hikers were taken to the Sha’ar Binyamin police station where they were interrogated about the incident. Honenu attorney Adi Kedar is handling the case. Honenu notes that this is not the first time hikers who suffered an attack have been automatically accused of assault and points out the unacceptable policy of the police . “It seems that the results of incitement against settlers and the religious public are evident. When every scribble of graffiti by a Jewish child, whether or not it really happened, is deemed a “terror attack” whereas daily fire bombs and rock attacks by the Arabs are excused by the various branches of the government it is no wonder that an attacker can present himself as a victim.”

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