Three Israelis arrested over attempted lynching of Palestinian man

Three Israelis arrested over attempted lynching of Palestinian man
Israeli prosecutors have filed attempted murder and terror charges against three Jewish Israelis over the attempted lynching, which was broadcast live on television.
2 min read
24 May, 2021
Said Moussa was pulled out of his car and attacked [Getty]

Israeli authorities have indicted three men on charges including attempted murder and incitement to terrorism over an attack on a Palestinian citizen of Israel.

The mob assault on Said Moussa of Ramle was broadcast live on television and widely described by local media as an attempted lynching.

Two weeks ago, Moussa was pulled out of his car by a right-wing crowd in the central Israeli city of Bat Yam.

The incident took place amid assaults on Palestinian civilians, businesses and places of worship in Israeli during the latest military bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

Videos of the incident showed Moussa being brutally beaten by the extremist crowd. He was transferred to hospital in a serious condition but was released last week.

Three Jewish Israeli citizens, including a 16-year-old and an 18-year-old, have been charged over the assault.

They face charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault, incitement to terrorism, and incitement to racism, Haaretz reported.

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The three have also been indicted on charges of malicious damage to a vehicle, theft and rioting that resulted in damages, all "out of racist motives".

A fourth person has been arrested in connection with the attack on Moussa but has not yet been charged with any crime.

Police official Gadi Avidan said last week that the assault had been planned.

The accused planned "to arrive in a certain place in a WhatsApp group, how to get there and what to do in case they encountered an Arab", Avidan was quoted as saying by Haaretz.

"The three defendants engaged in inciting the mob before the victim arrived. They stole, looted from and destroyed stores owned by Arabs. When they saw an Arab, they carried out an extremely merciless beating," he said.

One of the defendants, Lahav Nagauker Ohanina, spoke with a journalist on television just minutes after the beating took place.

"We came out to the streets to fight with Arabs, in order to show them that they can't fire missiles here," he told Israeli public broadcaster KAN. "We'll beat them, and if we need to we'll kill them. Small children are being killed because of missiles, I'm ready to be arrested."

Intercommunal violence gripped mixed Jewish-Palestinian communities in Israel this month amid the Israeli assault on Gaza and rocket fire from the enclave by Palestinian militants.

Israeli authorities have been criticised for arresting hundreds of Palestinian citizens of Israel over the violence but relatively few Jewish Israelis, despite high-profile incidents of violence.

Just 15 of the 170 people indicted on rioting charges were Jewish Israelis, according to Saturday report.