Eight Israeli Jews, [60 Israeli Arabs,] Charged With Racist Violence Since Start of Gaza War

12:00 Nov 9 2023 Jerusalem ( القُدس , ירושלים ): Beit Hanina, Eyal Hotel, and Mahane Yehuda market

Eight Israeli Jews, [60 Israeli Arabs,] Charged With Racist Violence Since Start of Gaza War Eight Israeli Jews, [60 Israeli Arabs,] Charged With Racist Violence Since Start of Gaza War
Demonstrators gathered in front of the student dormitories of Netanya College, in October. Credit: Israel Police Spokesperson Pubished by Haaretz

Israeli police officers detaining Palestinians in the Old City of Jerusalem in October. Credit: Ammar Awad/Reuters Published by Haaretz

Since October 7, over 60 Israeli Arabs have been charged with such offenses, also marking a surge of arrests and investigations of Israeli Arabs over similar suspicions

by Chen Maanit for Haaretz
Nov 10, 2023

Eight Jews have been charged with racist violence against Arabs since the Gaza war broke out, State Prosecutor's Office data shows.

The State Prosecutor released the data on Thursday, seeking to deflect charges of bias against Israeli Arabs due to the wave of indictments against them on suspicion of incitement and support of terrorism.

Since October 7, over 60 Israeli Arabs have been charged with such offenses. There has also been a surge of arrests and investigations of Israeli Arabs over similar suspicions.

The increased enforcement against Arab citizens stems in part from the prosecutor’s office permitting the police to investigate suspicions of incitement without receiving prior approval, which is usually required. The prosecutor is also encouraging investigators to seek from the courts extended remand of suspects until the end of legal proceedings against them.

MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash-Ta’al) appealed to the state attorney general and the justice minister to intervene, asserting that the police have been indiscriminately arresting young Arabs. “We are witnessing discriminatory and brutal mass arrests of hundreds of young Arab men and women,” he stated. He wrote that the police were using these mass arrests “as a tool to scare Arab society.”

The State Prosecutor responded in its letter issued Thursday that it is “examining every request that reaches it, without differentiating between religion, race, sex or political opinion.” The office added, “The Israel Police was not instructed to neglect addressing any expression of incitement against other population groups.”

The statement also noted that Acting State Prosecutor Amit Aisman and his deputy, Alon Altman, view any incitement most seriously, and that the enforcement policy on the matter hasn’t changed or been ignored. In addition to referring to the indictments of Jews, the letter stated that the State Prosecutor’s Office “approved the Israel Police opening a number of investigations of incitement offenses against Jewish suspects, and these investigations are not yet completed.”

One of the indictments of racist violent was filed on October 20 against residents Raphael and Netanel Heller, for attacking Arabs in East Jerusalem. The indictment, filed with the city’s district court, alleges that the two traveled on the night of October 9 to Beit Hanina, blocked a car in which two Arab citizens were sitting, and got out of their vehicle to attack them. The Arab driver backed up quickly, going against the flow of traffic, while the suspects allegedly threw sticks and bottles at him.

Two other indictments were filed with the same court on October 22, these against Yishai Amara and two minors whose names have been held from publication. The three went to the Eyal Hotel in Jerusalem on October 7 and allegedly tried to attack a reception desk clerk, whom they already knew and who had not done anything to provoke them. They and others allegedly threw bottles, breaking items at the reception desk and causing damage.

According to the indictment, the gang returned to the hotel two days later looking for the receptionist. When they didn’t find him, they went out to an adjacent street and attacked an Arab street cleaner, injuring him. A female soldier or police officer walking by, whose name the prosecution doesn’t know, stopped the attack when she aimed her weapon at the suspects, who fled. The three were charged with causing property damage and aggravated assault and battery – all racially motivated.

On October 24, an indictment was filed against Nahman Dekel, Aharon Ilovic and Ro’i Or Lev, according to which they attacked and beat an Arab worker in the Jerusalem municipality who was cleaning a car next to the Mahane Yehuda market. The three allegedly asked the worker if he was an Arab, and when he said yes, they attacked and beat him. Passersby who saw the attack chased them away. They were charged with racially motivated aggravated battery causing real harm.

Haaretz’s Hebrew edition reported last week a warning by Dr. Hagit Larnau, a former deputy public defender, that National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir is exploiting the national emergency to advance a dangerous policy. She said this policy relies on the basic assumption that Israeli Arab citizens are enemies of the state. She said that these messages seep into society and lead to attacks or attempted attack on innocent citizens.

The State Prosecutor’s Office also announced on Thursday that it has received over 14,600 requests to delete social media posts, pages or accounts, based on accusations that they praise and support Hamas or incite to terrorism. According to the office, over 90 percent of the requests were accepted and the content was removed.

Raphael and Netanel Heller indicted 10/20 for attacking Palestinian residents 10/9/2023
Yishai Amara and two minors indicted 10/22 for attacking receptionist 10/7 and Arab street cleaner 10/9/2023
Nahman Dekel, Aharon Ilovic and Ro’i Or Lev indicted 10/24/23 for attacking Arab worker.
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