Shimon HaTzadik assault case reopened after Honenu appealed

Tuesday, January 11, 2022, 13:31 An investigative case against Arabs who assaulted a Jewish couple in the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood approximately one year ago has been reopened. The office of the Attorney General sent the case directly to the Police Claims Department for the purpose of indicting the suspects. The case was closed despite a video clip (see below) documenting the attack and reopened only after Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the couple, filed an appeal.

Attack in Shimon HaTzadik; Video credit: Security camera

Bleicher welcomed the decision by the office of the Attorney General to reopen the case: “We hope that lessons will be learned by the police and that they will refrain from closing assault cases of this sort, concerning which there is great importance in prosecuting the assailants in order to deter and prevent attacks on Jews, which have unfortunately become routine in this area.”

Ya’ir Kehati, the Shimon HaTzadik resident who was attacked with his wife, stated that “It is insane that in the State of Israel an obvious attack occurred, that was recorded by security cameras, and the case was closed with the flick of a switch. This trend encourages terror, and indeed only two days ago (Saturday night) a car belonging to a resident of the neighborhood was torched – for the eighth (!) time. Someone needs to wake up the Israel Police from their deep slumber before there is also loss of life. I thank Honenu, without whom this case would have been buried and the assailants would have escaped without punishment.”

The appeal mentions that the video clip clearly documents the incident, Kehati’s testimony closely matches the clip, and the testimony of the suspect in the attack is false and does not match the clip. The appeal concludes: “The police, for a reason that is not clear, chose to close the case. The video clip provides unequivocal evidence of a serious attack and the suspect did not give any explanation refuting this evidence. I request that the case be reopened and that the suspect and his brother be brought to trial.”

The attack occurred on a Shabbat approximately one year ago. Kehati asked his Arab neighbors where his table was. The neighbors had stolen it one week previously and the incident was recorded by security cameras. In response to his question, one of the suspects ran towards Kehati with the intent of assaulting him.

Kehati managed to close the door to his home, but the suspect broke the door window with his hands. Feeling that he and his wife were in danger, Kehati sprayed pepper spray to chase away the assailant, who did distance himself. However, another assailant threw a large metal window grate at Kehati, and attacked him in front of his house. The couple tried to escape out their back door towards nearby security guards, as the assailant took the grate and threw it at them again while they fled. The security guards protected the couple from the assailants.

Kehati filed a complaint with the police the same evening, and showed the police investigator a video clip documenting the incident. Despite the documentation, the police decided to close the case, which has been reopened following the appeal by Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher.

The Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood has been the site of numerous violent attacks by Arabs on Jews. See here and here for two recent incidents in which Honenu represented the victims and see here for a list of posts relating to cases in which Honenu provided legal counsel to victims of antisemitic attacks in Jerusalem.

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