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Arabs attack hareidi near Sha'ar Shechem


Sha’ar Shechem; Photo credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90

Please click here for a list of posts relating to cases in which Honenu provided legal counsel to victims of antisemitic attacks in Jerusalem.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022, 9:05 A hareidi youth is suing two Arab assailants for 60,000 NIS in damages in a civil suit following their criminal conviction. The two assailants were recently convicted of aggravated assault – not motivated by racism – in the framework of a plea bargain and sentenced to an active prison term of several months. Honenu Attorney Ophir Steiner, who filed the suit on behalf of the youth, described the incident in the suit:

The attack occurred in the Old City of Jerusalem, in mid-November 2021. A hareidi youth in his early 20s was walking at 21:00 near Sha'ar Shechem (Damascus Gate), when suddenly he was attacked by two Arabs. Initially, they stood so that he was forced to walk in between them. When he passed, they kicked him hard.

The youth tripped and tried to call out to the policemen who were standing at Sha'ar Shechem for help. Then one of the assailants shoved the youth from behind while the other assailant ran towards him to hit him, but was blocked by a by-stander. The first assailant was not deterred by his friend's failure, and punched the hareidi youth's upper body repeatedly. Witnesses to the assault intervened and stopped the assault.

Steiner stressed that no words were exchanged between the plaintiff (the haredi youth) and the defendants (the Arab assailants) before they attacked him. Their sole motive was racism. The hareidi youth was caused pain and suffering during the violent attack, and suffered from fear and stress when he realized that a group of people was surrounding him, two of whom injured him repeatedly.

In real time, it was not clear to the plaintiff how long the attack would last and how serious the injuries would be. A feeling of helplessness enveloped him and he felt like his body had turned into a sort of punching bag on which the defendants were taking out their anger.

Additionally, beyond the physical pain, there was the pain that stems from the nationalistic motive for the attack. The plaintiff was aware that he was being attacked because of his Jewish appearance, and so his feeling of personal security was damaged and is still damaged. He also felt deeply insulted by the racist motive for the attack.

For a post about a December 2021 stabbing attack on two hareidi Jews near Sha'ar Shechem, see here.

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