Nineteen supporters of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer club were indicted Sunday for a series of violent offenses, including one charge of attempted murder.
Supporter Omer Golan is accused of the attempted murder of a fan of the Hapoel Tel Aviv soccer team in a planned assault on what they termed "the red team fans" in 2015.
The fans are all associated with a group called "La Familia," which in the past few years has been responsible for a series of racist remarks, violent incidents, threats against management and players, opposition to the acquisition of Muslim players, and more.
Several fans were accused in two instances of assault and robbery against fans of the Maccabi Haifa club at a beach soccer game, also in the past year. Another instance of assault and robbery, according to the indictment, was attributed to "La Familia" against fans of Hapoel Tel Aviv at the Reading parking lot in Tel Aviv in 2015. The fans are also accused of possession of weapons and another nine are accused of drug trafficking.
The State Attorney's Office stated in its request for an arrest warrant against suspects that wiretapped whatsapp conversations between those involved showed that some of the defendants were proud of their actions, sang songs about the victim that got "a hammer to the head," and planned another group attack to repeat the previous "success."
According to the indictment, the "La Familia" group was created to incite violence and vandalism as a result of a racist and anarchistic ideology against the Arab sector.
According to the indictment, a fight between Golan and a fan known as "Jack" broke out after Golan claimed the fan had erased "La Familia" graffiti that he himself had painted. In the ensuing fight between the two, the Hapoel Tel Aviv fan managed to escape. Following this incident, the indictment charges, Golan wanted to kill him.
Last October, Golan and the other defendants planned how to kill "Jack." The group decided to ambush the Hapoel Tel Aviv fans near Bloomfield Stadium in Jaffa. The defendants arrived with baseball bats, wooden sticks, stones and knives.
Golan brought a hammer with him and told his friends "I'm going to kill Jack today." When Golan's group encountered Hapoel fans, they attacked them. Golan, according to the indictment, took the hammer and struck the head of a Hapoel Tel Aviv fan, and then fled.
Adi Carmeli, who represents two of the defendants, said in response: "These indictments are exaggerated. We intend to examine the evidence, which according to our understanding mostly relies upon the lying, criminal state witness – and our answer will be heard in court."
Itamar Ben-Gvir, representing one of the defendants, said: "I think it is pretty clear that the prosecution has arisen from the left wing and chosen to pursue Beitar Jerusalem fans. They are serving a serious indictment whose charges don't fit the event that occurred. For example, the event with the Hapoel Tel Aviv fan: Now, everyone knows that Hapoel Tel Aviv fans arrived with crowbars, knives and sticks and that there was a scuffle. But to make it into some serious and horrible indictment, there is only one interpretation – going after Beitar Jerusalem fans."
The court extended the remand of the 19 defendants until otherwise decided and placed a gag order on the identity of the state witness in the case.