Jewish youths assaulted in Old City on eve of Shavuot

Tuesday, June 18, 2019, 12:04 On Saturday, June 8, which was Shabbat and the eve of the Shavuot holiday, 60 Armenian church students assaulted two Jewish youths walking on Armenian Patriarchate Street in the Old City of Jerusalem. The assailants severely beat the youths, who required medical treatment. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is assisting the injured youths, sent a letter to the Department of Investigations and Intelligence of the Old City District Police, demanding that a thorough investigation be conducted. In his letter Bleicher described the assault: “As my clients were walking on the sidewalk, a group of Armenians approached them and suddenly attacked them with ‘murderous blows’. My clients were punched in the face and kicked in all parts of the body as they lay on the ground.” Also, “One of the youths was thrown into the air on his back and as he lay powerless on the ground many Armenians stood around him and beat him. The brutal assault continued for several minutes, until the priests who were leading the students ordered them to stop.” Additionally, “My clients fled, injured and bleeding, to the nearby Kishleh Police Station. My clients required medical treatment and one of them was evacuated by ambulance to the Sha’arei Tzedek Hospital.” The youths filed a complaint at the Old City Police Station, but have yet to receive any information concerning either detention of suspects or any developments in the investigation. “Needless to say, the incident occurred in an area filmed by police security cameras, which certainly facilitates swift detention of the assailants and acquiring evidence against them.” In the letter Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher demanded that the commander of the Old City Police, “detain and interrogate everyone who either was seen assaulting [my clients] or has any information about those who assaulted my clients.” Bleicher also demanded that he be informed of any developments in the investigation.

Similar assaults have occurred in the Old City of Jerusalem. In November 2018, a Jewish youth who was stabbed in the back in three years previously on the eve of Shavuot was awarded 60,000 NIS in compensation. On June 11, 2014 the Attorney General’s office filed an indictment against an Arab who had assaulted a Jewish minor on the eve of the Shavuot holiday earlier the same month. The youth was hospitalized in intensive care with a skull fracture and internal bleeding.

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