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Assaulted students accused of assault

Monday, March 12, 15:45 Two students of the pre-army academy of Ateret Cohanim in the Old City of Jerusalem who were assaulted by a group of Arabs in the Muslim Quarter just before the beginning of last Shabbat, were arrested on suspicion of assault and released. One of the students related the order of events to a Honenu representative: Last Friday, on which residents of Jerusalem celebrated the Purim holiday, the students of the pre-army academy of Ateret Cohanim were hosted for the festive meal at the home of their rabbi, who resides in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. As they were returning to the academy, two of the students were beaten by Arabs wielding iron bars who also spit at them. One of the students suffered head wounds. The two assaulted students fled the scene and continued towards the academy. Near the academy the students saw a policeman and a border policeman, to whom they reported the assault. As they were speaking to the policeman an Arab unconnected to the previous incident passed them and intentionally spilled a boiling hot drink on them. The policeman and the soldier chased the Arab and left the students by themselves. At the scene more Arabs gathered and started to assault the students with iron bars as they tried to defend themselves. When the policeman returned from the chase he dispersed the rioting Arabs. The policeman, who is also an Arab, informed the students that they would be detained for interrogation on suspicion of assault. The two students were taken to the Kishleh Police Station in the Old City where they were told that they had been identified as the attackers in video footage taken by the security cameras which are located throughout the Old City. After a short period of time, during which they were not interrogated, the police informed them that they were released. Y., one of the students who asked to file a complaint on the assault, was told that it was not in his best interest because he himself is suspected of assault and was threatened with remaining in remand for the entire Shabbat. So as not to violate the rapidly approaching Shabbat, Y. decided not to file a complaint at the time. Yesterday (Sunday) Y. returned to the police station to file a complaint. In response he was detained by the police for interrogation and warned that he might be accused of assault. After several hours of interrogation Y. was released on bail. Honenu also reports that B., a 14 year old yeshiva student, was detained yesterday at the entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem after a can of spray paint was found in his bag. B. reported that yesterday as he was walking with a friend in the Jaffa Gate Plaza two policemen asked to search them. B.’ and his friend asked if it was a routine check and the reply was affirmative. However B. noticed that the policemen were not conducting searches on passersby and it appeared that the search was connected to their appearance: large kippot and payot. During the search a can of spray paint was found in B’s bag. In response to the policeman’s inquiry as to the purpose of the spray paint B. replied that his brother in law asked him to buy it for use in his work. B. was taken to the Kishleh Police Station and the police contacted his parents. In the conversation, the police claimed that they would conduct a brief search in the police console and that if there was no reason to detain him, B. would be released immediately. In fact, B. was detained for more than two hours and, in the end, released after being warned not to spray paint graffiti.

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