Four teens were arrested after the lethal fight that took place in early February. Of them, the alleged stabber was charged with manslaughter while his three friends have been charged with aggravated assault.
At his interrogation, the teen refused to admit his participation in the brawl. Only after his mother was brought in did he recount the events.
"That night we drank, we sat and got high," he said. "Afterwards we went out just walking around, it was around 1 or 2 am, and then these two Arabs came."
The teen said the two had picked a fight because one of the boys was wearing the scarf of Jerusalem's Beitar soccer team, which is identified with right-wing politics.
At this point, he said, Hussam Rawidi, the victim, jumped on his friend, so he attacked the assailant and cut him in the face. Rawidi's friend began to run away, and Rawidi ran off in the same direction, only to be pursued by the alleged stabber.
"I ran after him and then I saw him slip on the floor. I told my friends to get the knife because he had fallen and that was it," he said.
The teen did not know of Rawidi's death until the news report on it, he claims. "My friend called me while I was on the bus," he recalled. "He said that there was one who had been killed. I nearly fainted at that moment… I was stressed out from the whole thing, but I didn't want to just turn myself in because I was stressed, I didn't know what to do."
After his mother told him to turn himself into police, he says, he took her advice. "There's something I want to say, that the fight was just because we fought. It wasn't because he was an Arab, even if he had been Jewish we would have fought… I was afraid of him, I didn't know he was Arab," he told police.
One of the defendants in court (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
He also explained why he had used a knife. "I wanted to help, and suddenly I saw how big he was so I took out a knife. At first I went at him with nothing, the first thing I did was punch him but then I saw him go crazy so I wanted to take him down. I aimed there because I wanted to hurt him," he said.
"If I hadn't been high I wouldn’t have stabbed him. I regret what happened, and I want to make a change," the teen said. He admits that he does not like Arabs, "but I wouldn't get into trouble over an Arab," he said.
'They heard us speaking Arabic'
His mother, who was also questioned, told police, "He doesn't like Arabs, he says he hates them. He has a lot of anger and hate, he hates them. He told me, 'I feel like killing them.' But I told him, 'To kill an Arab, is that worth your life?'"
One of the alleged stabber's friends also admitted to harboring hatred for the Arab race. "I live in a settlement and they committed terror attacks in my community," he explained, recounting a case in which terrorists had killed a woman and her three children. "I've never liked Arabs," he said.
Marad, Rawidi's friend, gave a different account of the fight. He said the boys had heard them speaking Arabic and said, "Arab jerks." Then the alleged stabber hit Rawidi in the head with his fist, Marad recounted.
"I came to separate between them, everything happened so fast, and then they let him go and started to hit me. They punched me in the head, the face, the neck, and the back," he said.
"My glasses fell and I couldn't see anything so I started running. More guys came, about four, and everyone was hitting us and my friend ran away and slipped in the middle of the road. I started to run after him and I saw that his shirt was all bloody in the front."
Marad said he picked up Rawidi and carried him into a nearby restaurant. "I sat him down, took of his hat and put it on his face. I saw a scary cut on his face with streams of blood coming down," he recounted. Then, while trying to stop the blood, he called the police and paramedics.
When asked by interrogators whether they had provoked the boys, Marad answered in the negative. "We didn't even speak to them. I was just speaking with my friend in Arabic, and we were laughing as usual," he said.
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