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Attack in Be’er Sheva, suspects released

Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher; Photo credit: Honenu

Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher; Photo credit: Honenu

Sunday, September 13, 2020, 11:00 Approximately 18 months ago in Be’er Sheva, a Jewish youth was attacked by several Bedouins. The assailants threatened him with clubs, one of them beat him with a crowbar, breaking his jaw, others shattered the windows of his car, and then they fled the scene. The victim filed a complaint with the police after he was released from the hospital. Several months later the police detained suspects who connected themselves to the incident, however the case was closed. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher filed an appeal with the office of the Attorney General, requesting that the case be reopened. The attack occurred when R., who is not a Be’er Sheva resident, was waiting with his girlfriend in a parking lot near a friend’s home. R. testified that when they approached the friend’s home, a driver in the opposite lane signaled him that his high beams were on. R., who was the driver, apologized and continued on to the parking lot. The other driver backed up, got out of his car and threatened R. R. succeeded in calming the other driver, who mentioned that his name is Rami. Rami then turned to a woman who was with him in his car, Nataliya, and told her, “Go and get Eid.” Nataliya returned a short time later, followed by a group of Bedouins in a car. Rami and Eid took clubs out of the trunk of the car and approached R. in a threatening manner. R. asked Rami to put the club back into the trunk, and Rami did so. Then Eid, who stood near him with a metal rod, hit R. hard in his jaw. The appeal mentions that other than Rami, only Eid was standing near R., and therefore it is clear that Eid was the one who hit him and broke his jaw. R. lost consciousness and one of the women who was with the assailants broke one of his car windows with a rock. R. started to regain consciousness and the assailants fled. Police arrived on the scene and R. was evacuated to the Soroka Hospital with a fractured jaw for several days of hospitalization. R. filed a complaint with the police, which specified the names of the suspects known to him. Later Bleicher asked the police to take testimony from R.’s girlfriend. It is not known what steps were taken to that end. Approximately six months after the attack two suspects were detained and other witnesses were interrogated, but the office of the Attorney General decided to close the case. In his appeal to the office of the Attorney General Bleicher noted that “despite the many flaws in the investigation, there are findings which constitute sufficient reliable evidence and admissions to indict the suspects.” R.’s girlfriend’s testimony corroborates R.’s: She identified Rami, and gave details regarding the other assailants. Also Nataliya, who had been in the first car with Rami, testified that he had held a club and put it down, and connected Eid to the scene of the attack. Rami himself initially denied the incident, but later admitted that “Eid came in a car, told me to take the clubs out of his car. I took out a club and went to R. I came towards him and raised the club at him. He [realized what was happening] and told me that everything was all right, put it back in the car, I didn’t come to argue with you. I took the club and returned it to my brother’s car. I saw that my brother, Eid, was there outside, where I had been with R. and then I saw that R. was on the ground.” Eid was also interrogated and connected himself to the incident, but he accused R. of assault. Subsequently the police arranged an official meeting between R. and Eid. In light of the testimonies, Bleicher concluded numerous facts, among them: the suspects connected themselves to the incident, Rami admitted to holding a club and threatening R. with it and testified the same about Eid, Eid admitted to physical contact with R., and all of the suspects admitted that R. suffered a head injury. Therefore Bleicher claims that “the established facts are sufficient to prove beyond all doubt that the suspects, both of them, are co-conspirators in the attack on the appellant. The facts are enough to prove beyond all doubt that the two suspects are guilty of threatening the appellant. And from the web of evidence it is also possible to prove the part of Eid in attacking the appellant and hitting him in his jaw with a crow bar. The necessary conclusion is that it is possible to prove the complete criminal responsibility of the suspects and to bring them to trial.” Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher: “The victim of terror was seriously injured and required months of rehabilitation during which he was unable to eat and was fed a liquid diet. He requested Honenu’s assistance after he filed a complaint and the necessary steps to investigate the incident were not taken. The investigation which led to the detention of the suspects who connected themselves to the incident was started only thanks to our insistence. Unfortunately and inexplicably the office of the Attorney General chose to close the case despite admissions by the suspects of their acts. “The violence of criminal Bedouin gangs which threaten Israeli citizens in southern Israel must not be tolerated. We demand that all of the individuals involved with this crime be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Honenu took on the case out of an understanding that the continued crime and violence of the Bedouins in southern Israel constitutes a national danger. Therefore violent acts must be treated seriously and with zero tolerance.”

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