The Haifa District Prosecution on Thursday indicted six people – four minors and two adults – for the aggravated assault of two IDF soldiers in the city's Bat Galim Neighborhood in mid February.
The State's original conjecture that the assault was a nationalistically motivated hate crime was not asserted in the indictment.
The prosecution asked the court to remand the suspects for the duration of the trial.
The soldiers testified that just minutes prior to the assault their attackers asked them if they were Jewish, and during the attacks the initials PLO – the acronym for the Palestine Liberation Organization – was carved into one of the soldiers' heads.
During the suspects arraignment hearing, Haifa Magistrates' Court Judge Zayid Falah noted that the vicious attack was reminiscent of the brutal 2000 lynching of two IDF soldiers in Ramallah. He later qualified his statement, saying that "Trying to categorize the attack would be wrong."
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman also said that the attack was an act of terror: "What we saw there were terrorists. This wasn't a brawl – this was an act of terror."
The suspects vehemently denied having any nationalistic motives, with some denying any involvement altogether and other saying that they were provoked by the soldiers.
Sources in the Haifa District Prosecution said that the decision to drop the hate crime count from the indictment stemmed from a thorough review of the evidence.
Under the Israeli Penal Code, the maximum sentence for aggravated assault is 20 years in jail.
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