The three Arabs who were attacked by a group of Jews on a Haifa beach were shocked and surprised to learn the two suspects arrested in the case—a 23 year old from Kiryat Haim and another 29 year old from the north—were released from police custody and put on house arrest, with the judges citing lack of evidence to tie them to the incident.
One of the victims' friends said Sunday they "have been questioned since this morning. We were surprised the suspects were released."
"We implore the police to continue investing efforts (in the investigation), and we trust that they'll do everything to find the perpetrators," he added.
During the suspects' remand extension hearing, the police told the court that they have security camera footage of the attack. However, the police representative admitted that investigators have yet to thoroughly examine the video and that the suspect has not been identified in the footage.
Yair Elalouf, who aided the three Arab men, met Sunday with the three Arab men at the police station. They said they "need to thank him for saving our lives. Without him, we wouldn't have stayed alive."
Later, the three came to visit him at work to thank him once again. "They were very nice guys, they thanked me and said, 'We were looking for you, we wanted to know where you are from, where you live,'" Elalouf said.
"They took my phone number, wanted to invite me to Shfaram to eat with them, and wanted to come to my house with their families. I told them they are more than welcomed," he went on to say.
"People ask me all the time, 'Did you know they were Arabs?' Of course I knew, but it doesn't matter who they were, I would do the same for anyone. If it is an Ethiopian, an Arab, or a Jew. It does not matter. If someone needs help, he should receive it. I wish the whole country thought like this. Some 100 people were present during the attack and nobody came to help," he lamented.
Elalouf arrived to the beach where the attack took place, not far from his home, and described the chain of events. "I parked the car near the beach because there was no parking near the house, and I saw Arabs running away and others throwing clubs at them. They took the clubs and ran to the beach. A bleeding man came to me and said, 'save my friends.'"
"They had brutally beaten them with the clubs for 3-4 minutes, and one of the attackers used an iron chain, maybe of a motorcycle or a bike," Elalouf said.
"It was terrible, it was really disgusting, they were beaten out of malice, without thinking, they (the attackers) saw that they were on the floor bleeding and unconsciousness and they continued beating them like nothing had happened. It was really terrible. No one did anything, nobody called the police, they did not want to intervene," he said.