A woman who was with the victim at the time of the attack said she and her friends met on Saturday night, as they often do. A group of religious Jewish youths appeared at their gathering place, cursed at them and blew up firecrackers next to them. Her friends attempted to deter the attackers, one of whom pulled out a knife and stabbed the victim in the stomach.
"They continued to hit us and throw stones, then ran away," she said.
The injured man was evacuated to Ziv Hospital in Safed. Police began scouring the area for the perpetrators.
Safed Police Superintendent Gadi Ron said that the officers in charge of the case are gathering intelligence in order to identify the suspects. They are exploring different possibilities, including the claim that the assaulters were religious Jews.
"We are not familiar with any past conflict that occurred between groups of youths in the forest, and certainly we have not encountered such an incident involving the Gush Halav village," he said.
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