Supreme Court rejects appeal by Eli Rozen attack suspect

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Monday, March 14, 2022, 14:56 Supreme Court Justice Anat Baron rejected an appeal by Muhammad Khalaf, who is charged with brutally attacking Eli Rozen last spring, and ordered him held in remand until the end of proceedings against him. Khalaf is one of the five suspects who have been indicted over a racially motivated brutal attack on Eli Rozen in the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood of Jerusalem on April 23, 2021.

In her decision, Justice Baron wrote, “The danger that the appellant (Khalaf) poses is clear. He took an active part in a brutal attack in which a passer-by was attacked out of a nationalistic-ideological motive solely because of his Jewish appearance.” Justice Baron described the brutality of the attack on Rozen, who was seriously injured by punches, kicks, wooden clubs and an electric shocker. Justice Baron also cited Rozen’s testimony in court, and stated that “it is evident that he spoke with complete sincerity, described to the court the severe violence directed at him and the injuries he suffered from the rioters.”

Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing Rozen as a victim of terror, spoke after the hearing: “We welcome the decision by the Supreme Court. Whoever takes part in a brutal beating of a Jew is a dangerous, unrestrained terrorist who poses a danger to all loyal citizens of Israel. We, together with victims of terror, will continue the fight for maximum penalties to deter terrorists.”

In February, the Jerusalem District Court convicted two of the suspects in the brutal attack, Adnan Harbawi and Ibrahim Za’atri, of rioting and of aggravated assault in an act of terror, in accordance with the counter-terror law. They were also convicted of willful sabotage of cars.

Eli Rozen was attacked in the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood on April 23, 2021, during the Arab rioting in Jerusalem. Rozen finished prayers at the Tomb of Shimon HaTzadik and started to walk to his home in the Shmuel HaNavi neighborhood, past dozens of rioters. They completely surrounded him, and then punched him, kicked him, beat him with wooden clubs, threw large rocks and other objects at him, and used an electric shocker on him. Rozen suffered bruises, swelling, cuts, and three broken vertebrae. His attackers posted video clips of the incident on social media. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher has been assisting Rozen throughout the trial.

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