Jewish teen arrested over assault of Palestinian woman in Jerusalem

12:00 Mar 3 2013 Jerusalem

Jewish teen arrested over assault of Palestinian woman in Jerusalem
Photos taken by eyewitness purportedly show Hana Amtir being assaulted by several young women at light-rail station in the capital: 'They spat on me, punched me and kicked me.'

One of the images taken by Dorit Jordan Dotan of the assault, Monday, February 25, 2013. Photo by Dorit Jordan Dotan

By Yair Ettinger for Haaretz

A teenage girl from a Jewish settlement in the West Bank was detained for questioning on Sunday in connection to an assault on an Arab woman at a light-rail station in the capital last Monday.

Jerusalem police initiated an investigation on Tuesday after receiving photographs showing a group of young Jewish women attacking a woman, who was later identified as Hana Amtir.

Speaking to Channel 2 television on Sunday, Amtir said: "Four young women came to me and asked me whether I was Arab. I said yes, you can tell by my clothes. After that they spat on me and one of them started to shout 'Arab, Arab.' At that stage they pushed me onto a sign that was there, they began hitting me with their fists and kicked me in the stomach and in the back. They are animals," Amtir said.

Dorit Jordan Dotan, an artist and professional photographer who captured the assault on camera and gave the images to investigators, told police officers she and a male companion were waiting for a train at the Kiryat Moshe station when, without provocation, a young Jewish woman began attacking an Arab woman who was also at the station.

The perpetrator, said Jordan Dotan, was soon joined by other young women. She said several passengers and bystanders – including a security officer working for the city – looked on apathetically and did not intervene.

The Jerusalem District police said last week that no complaint had been filed in connection to the incident, adding that they decided to investigate after the testimony and the photographs were published by the NRG news website. The investigators said they would review security footage from the station and question light-rail employees.

On Sunday of last week, a day before the Jerusalem incident, an Arab man from Jaffa sustained moderate to severe head injuries after being assaulted by several young Jewish men on the Tel Aviv boardwalk.

"He asked them why they were attacking him and they replied with the
utmost chutzpah – 'because you're Arab,'" the victim's wife told reporters.
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