Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher; Photo credit: Honenu
Monday, July 13, 2020, 18:09 On Monday, July 13, Honenu responded to the violent incidents in Beit Jann in which inspectors from the Israel Nature and Parks Authority were attacked, and censured the police conduct. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher mentioned that on Lag B’Omer, this year May 11-12, Jewish worshipers were brutally assaulted near Beit Jann and despite repeated requests to the police, at this time there has been no announcement of detainees. Bleicher: “Ignoring certain crimes and certain forms of criminality will not solve the problem, but rather increase and exacerbate it. Such with the brutal antisemitic attack on hareidi worshipers on Lag B’Omer. The law enforcement authorities chose not to launch an investigation which would penalize the criminals, and consequently inspectors from the Israel Nature and Parks Authority encountered rioting. It is not too late to rectify the situation and prosecute the rioters.” On Lag B’Omer, hareidi worshipers, among them elderly, women, and children, were brutally attacked near the village of Beit Jann. Due to restrictions regarding the Coronavirus outbreak prohibiting entrance to the Tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai on his yahrzeit, the worshipers came to pray at a location overlooking the site. After a stay of several hours a group of Druze arrived and threatened the worshipers, claiming that the site was theirs, despite the fact that it was a public space, and that the worshipers had half an hour to leave. Later the Druze, some of whom had concealed their faces, blocked the exit of the worshipers’ vehicles, brutally attacked them, and smashed their vehicles’ windshields. One of the worshipers was knocked to the ground while the assailants kicked and beat him all over his body as they cursed and insulted him and shouted antisemitic statements. The assailants then threw rocks at him and his car and at a man and his three-year-old son who had come to his aid. Police and border police forces evacuated the worshipers in a guarded caravan through Beit Jann until they were out of danger. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher repeatedly sent letters to the Karmiel Police requesting that they take additional testimonies from eye witnesses and the most recent letter includes new evidence from the attack victims. Bleicher also asked the police to act decisively to bring the rioters to justice. As of now, approximately two months after the attack, testimonies have not been taken and there are no known detentions of suspects.