Will the Ra'anana mob attack be investigated?
Updated: Mar 9, 2022
Tuesday, March 1, 2022, 16:12 In early December, two Jewish workers were attacked and injured by a mob of Arab workers on a construction site in Ra'anana. Initially, there was an incident in which four Arabs workers harassed and briefly beat the two Jewish workers. Immediately after that, a brutal mob attack began during which dozens of Arab workers seriously injured the Jewish workers. Ten days later, Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher sent a letter on behalf of the injured workers to the Central District Commander of the Israel Police, Major-General Avraham Biton, demanding an investigation of the attack.
Since then, no developments have been reported. In light of the lack of progress in the case. MK Orit Struk posed a parliamentary question concerning the investigation of the attack, to which the Deputy Minister of Public Security, Yoav Segalovitz, replied that the incident was an "altercation", not an attack. In the Knesset Plenary, MK Struk expressed her disagreement and Deputy Minister Segalovitz repeated his opinion. Following the exchange of words in the Knesset, Honenu Attorney Bleicher sent a second letter to Maj-Gen. Biton, with the same demand to investigate the attack.
MK Struk's statement in the Knesset Plenary: "When there is a clash between more or less equal numbers of people on both sides, you can call that a scuffle or what have you. However, when a mob, dozens of people, jump on two people, mercilessly beating them with tools that are not designed for beating in general, that is to say any work tools they could grab, and one side, the attackers, are from one nation, that is to say, Arabs, and the people being attacked by them, even if one says, in one way or another, that they returned punches, were two vastly outnumbered Jews, who were seriously injured, I think that can definitely be called an attack."
Deputy Minister Segalovitz's response:"I am supposed to understand that there was an attack here. So, first of all, I say, there was no attack. Let's start now with the facts. After I saw the parliamentary question, I looked into what happened. From examination of the investigative case, it seems that there was no attack. There was nothing nationalistically motivated.
"This was a violent, isolated incident between people. It should also be noted that as a result of the altercation, those involved from both sides were injured, to varying degrees. Anyone who was suspected of committing a criminal offense – of one kind or another – was interrogated under warning. Crimes of this sort are investigated at the level of a police station. Not every incident of violence [is handled by] a central unit of the police or a counter-terrorism unit. A police station knows how to investigate. This isn't a complex investigation that necessitates handling by special units. There is a description of an altercation between people – it's serious and bad. An indictment, I hope, will be served. That's it. It's dry and boring, but that's what it is."
Honenu Attorney Bleicher's second letter to Maj.-Gen. Biton: "We were shocked by the deputy minister's reply concerning the attack in Ra'anana, in which he denied the existence of an attack, and in fact related only to the clash that occurred at the start of the incident. We sent letters to all of the investigating authorities, and also to his honor, acknowledging that concerning the first incident, one may accept that the police found it difficult to determine which side's testimony is correct. However, our letter pertained mainly to the second part, in which dozens of Arabs participated in a cruel attack. For that, the only explanation is that the victims were Jews and the attackers were Arabs.
"In our opinion, it seems that the second part of the incident, in which the most serious [injuries] occurred, was not investigated properly and has been almost completely ignored by the law enforcement authorities. We are repeating our demand for a decisive investigation of the attack carried out by dozens of workers, which was genuinely life-threatening and was prevented only by the quick-wittedness of a Jewish logistical manager who was on the site and came to [the victims'] assistance at the last moment, armed."
In his conclusion, Bleicher noted that the victims of the attack still bear emotional scars from the attack, they have not yet recovered, and now they feel like the authorities are disregarding what happened to them and not doing enough to bring the attackers who tried to kill them to trial.
Excerpt of the Knesset Plenary session; Video credit: The Knesset Channel