Light rail assault case to be reopened

Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher; Photo credit: Honenu

Please click here for a list of posts relating to cases in which Honenu provided legal counsel to victims of antisemitic attacks in Jerusalem.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021, 11:42 In mid-November, a hareidi youth was assaulted by Arabs on the light rail in Jerusalem. The youth gave testimony to police who arrived on the scene, and filed a complaint over assault two days later. To his surprise, he discovered that the police had closed the case 48 hours after he filed the complaint, based on a claim – which is false – that documentation on “the security cameras was deleted after 24 hours”. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the youth, sent a letter to the Department of Investigations describing the incident and requesting that evidence from security cameras be used to apprehend suspects. The police replied that they would reopen the case. The letter is summarized below:

A group of Arab youths on the light rail, who were not wearing masks and were smoking electronic cigarettes (which is itself a violation of the law), flagrantly exhaled vapor in the direction of Jews who had a hareidi appearance, and threatened the youth. Passengers testified that the Arabs had attacked Jewish girls before they attacked the youth, who was punched in the face by one of the threatening Arabs. The assailants fled after the assault.

The youth phoned the police during the incident, gave preliminary testimony to policemen who arrived at the scene, and explicitly requested that they examine the security cameras. However, two days after he filed the complaint, the youth was surprised to receive an update that the investigative case had been closed because “suspects have not been located”.

From an inquiry that I conducted, I discovered that evidence from security cameras installed in the station outside of the train may be accessed for a period of seven days. We have before us 24 critical hours before this week will elapse. According to testimony from my client, the suspects fled by running from the train car at the light rail station adjacent to the Central Bus Station, immediately after the assault. Therefore, it appears that the suspects may be apprehended following examination of the cameras’ recordings from the relevant hour.

A group of Arab youths threatened many Jewish citizens on the light rail in a serious assault of an antisemitic nature. They also physically assaulted my client, and likely others, in a location which is monitored by security cameras. I request urgent action, and if you have not done so already, I request that you ask Cfir Light Rail Ltd. for documentation from the security cameras at the station.

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