Police arrested four youngsters from Tiberias on Monday for allegedly attacking an Arab street cleaner
in Tel Aviv on February 24.
The cleaner, Hassan Usruf, claimed he was attacked on the city's seaside promenade by a group of more than 20 Jewish youngsters who violently assaulted him while shouting racial slurs.
The investigation, codenamed "beach party," was made public following the teens' arrests and the confiscation of their computers for evidence.
According to suspicions, they arrived in Tel Aviv for a Purim
party and immediately afterwards attacked the cleaner.
"They beat me because I'm an Arab," Usruf said a few hours after the attack. "Around 4 am we started working. I was going around with a water jug that I filled up to wash the road.
"Suddenly a large group came over; they yelled at me 'You're an Arab. You want a state? Is that what you want?'
"I told them 'calm down,'" Usruf added, "and then they grabbed me and began to hit me. One of them hit me in the head with a bottle. I fell to the ground, and they took turns kicking and hitting me. I shouted, 'We are all brothers. For me there are no Jews or Arabs.'"
According to Usruf, it was at this point that he felt his life was in danger. "I told myself I would never make it home. They were drunk and beat me because I'm Arab. They were racists," he recounted.
"I tried to run away, but I couldn't. I was on the ground, alone against 20 people. God loves me so I survived. I've been working with Jews for years and they are like brothers to me, but these people were drunken racists."
The day following the attack 130 people protested
in solidarity with Usruf at the place of the attack.
The demonstrators, among them several Knesset
members, called on the police to apprehend the attackers and protested the "leadership's incitement," which, they claimed, forms tacit agreement to racially motivated violence.
Meanwhile, police are still investigating the attack
of Hana Amtir on February 25 near a Light Rail
station in Jerusalem,
and have publicly stated that the attack was was nationalistically motivated.
Three teenaged girls arrested for allegedly assaulting Amtir were released under restrictions, and it was agreed the three will be barred from entering Jerusalem.
Two of the suspects in court Monday (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)
A police representative said at a court hearing that the girls ran into the woman randomly, asked her if she's an Arab and attacked her after she answered affirmatively.
He further claimed that the girls spat at the woman, called her an "Arab b**ch," punched her and removed her head garb.
Following the hearing the court decided to release the suspects under restrictions. Two were banned from Jerusalem for 45 days, the third for 30.
Two of the girls were arrested after reporting to the Jerusalem Police station and filing a complaint against the woman. They claimed they were acting in self-defense but were promptly arrested after an interrogation.
The third suspect, a 17-year-old from Binyamina,
was arrested on Sunday.
The suspects' lawyer, Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir, called the case an "extreme Left spin," and said that one of his clients has medical documents which testify to the beating she suffered.
"The more testimonies come up the more the woman's innocence is questioned. She didn't shy from hitting the girls and shouted racial slurs against the Jewish people," Ben Gvir said.
Ben-Gvir added that the Arab woman herself should be arrested based on footage from security cameras footage and other testimonies.
Ahmad Amtir, Hana's husband, rejected the girls' allegations. "Obviously they filed a complaint; they think it will get them out of this," he said. "But why would a pregnant woman at an unfamiliar place start a fight with these girls? It's a lie.
"There's security camera footage and you can see what happened. She didn't hit them and it's good to hear the three girls were arrested. I hope such incidents will not recur. Our home was like a graveyard for a week."
Noam (Dabul) Dvir contributed to this report
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