Updated: Feb 2, 2022
Tuesday, July 27, 2021, 10:37 Update: Thanks to the insistence of Honenu, and in particular Attorney Nati Rom, not to agree to any release conditions, the police and the GSS relented. Today (Tuesday) the three youths injured in a brutal mob attack in Hawara on July 21 are being unconditionally released from the police station and will not be taken to a court hearing. At least one of the injured is still battered and bruised. Upon release he is expected to undergo medical examinations. The dozens of Arab rioters who participated in the attack have not been detained. See here for more details about the attack
On Saturday night, after Shabbat, Rom met with the most severely injured youth who was taken from Beilinson Hospital and interrogated by the GSS. The youth described horrific details of the attack. Rom saw the youth’s scars and the burn marks from the cigarettes that the Arab rioters had put out on his skin. Rom was also informed that Arab Israeli citizens from Natzrat had been among the rioters. After the meeting, he related what he had heard from the youth:
“The youths experienced an attempted murder by Arabs who intentionally ran their cars into the youths’ car three times until they [the youths] lost control of their car and it overturned. Two of the youths succeeded in fleeing the scene, and the third was brutally beaten for over half an hour. Dozens of rioters put cigarettes out on him, they spit at him and they beat him until he was dripping blood – as they recorded their acts and uploaded them to social media sites.
“The security forces who had taken so long to arrive on the scene of the attack chose to detain the injured youth [from the hospital] and transfer him to interrogation by the GSS, instead of assisting him as a victim of terror. The police added insult to injury and placed a gag order on the charges against him, as if he were a criminal and not a youth who lost his way and was trapped by a cruel mob. The detained youth denies all charges and is still in shock from the attack and from the treatment by the security forces afterwards. There should be a public outcry over turning a victim of terror into a criminal like this,” concluded Rom.
This morning (Tuesday) Rom sharply criticized the remand: “Those in the Yehuda and Shomron Police and the GSS who are responsible for investigating this incident should put their keys on their desks and go home. The youths were brutally attacked. It was an attempted murder, a completely sadistic attack, but the Yehuda and Shomron Police and the GSS detained the victims. The assailants are walking free. On the day following that attack, not far from the site, in the same town, Rabbi Elyakim Levanon’s car was severely attacked. Who knows if it wasn’t by the same assailants.
“For several days, I have been pleading for recordings to be gathered from security cameras. They will reveal that the youths are not connected to any arson [Arabs accused the youths of a price tag arson incident]. The security cameras were taken for examination only yesterday. Apparently the intent to release the youths today is not from nowhere. Today we will demand that the court not only unconditionally release them, but also that an investigation be launched against those responsible for this failure, for turning victims into suspects, for the lawlessness of rioters walking free. This is a watershed case for the security of the citizens of Israel.”
To recap, on the night of Wednesday, July 21, the youths took a shortcut home on the old road (Route 5076), which passes the Arab town of Jamma’in and when Arabs identified the youths as Jews, they chased them in cars and also on foot in a mob. The Arabs suspected them of having carried out a price tag attack in the area. At some point, where the road connects with the main street through Hawara (Route 60), the Arabs rammed the youths’ car with their cars. Then the mob beat the youths, two of whom escaped and after a night in the open near Hawara found their way to Yitzhar. The third, who is legally an adult, was more seriously injured and remained at the site. Once security forces arrived, he was evacuated to Beilinson Hospital and from there GSS agents and Yehuda and Shomron police detained him and took him for interrogation at a GSS facility. He was initially prevented from meeting with an attorney. Two days later, on Saturday night, the other two youths, who are minors, were detained by the police and taken to the Ariel Police Station for interrogation. On Sunday, their remand was extended. All three youths were released on Tuesday (July 27).