Seven Jewish Israelis were arrested a month ago over an attack on a worshipper near a mosque in the central city of Herzliya, security officials revealed Monday.
The incident apparently occurred in the wake of riots, which erupted in several locations across Israel when tensions between Arabs and Jews spiked following weeks of unrest in Jerusalem and heavy fighting between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.
The police and the Shin Bet arrested the suspects, all residents of Herzliya, some time after the attack, which appears to have been nationalistically motivated.
According to the police, the suspects attacked a 60-year-old resident of the central Arab city of Tayibe near Sidna Ali Mosque, located in the northern part of Herzliya.
The police said the suspects arrived in the area near the mosque during a riot in the city on May 12. They ambushed the victim and then attacked him by pepper spraying his face and stabbing him with a sharp object. He was moderately hurt and was evacuated to a hospital.
Among the suspects are those who already have a criminal record, the police said. Some of them admitted to the investigators the attack was nationalistically motivated and the police believe it was organized in advance.
At the end of the investigation, the police transferred all its findings to the State Prosecutor’s Office, which is expected to file indictments in the coming days, along with a request for the defendants to be kept in custody until the end of the legal proceedings against them.