An Israeli court ordered six Jewish teenagers be held in custody on Sunday on suspicion of assaulting a Palestinian man as he escorted an Israeli woman home from a nightclub.
The 28-year-old Palestinian was hospitalized with a broken foot from the attack early on Friday, in what looks like the second hate crime in Jerusalem in a month, violence that some see as a sign of deteriorating relations between Jews and Arabs in the ancient city.
The youths assaulted the man as he was walking with another man and an Israeli woman in the city’s largely Jewish Katamon neighbourhood after leaving a nearby nightclub, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
“The youths questioned one of the men when they realized he was an Arab, and asked him: ‘What are you doing with this girl?’ then pushed him around. He was injured as a result,” Mr. Rosenfeld said.
The suspects, all minors, were arrested over the weekend and brought before a judge on Sunday who ordered them held for further questioning.
The Palestinian comes from mainly Arab east Jerusalem, which was captured by Israel in the 1967 war. Israel sees the city as its capital, an assertion not recognised internationally. Palestinians want the city’s eastern sector as capital of a future state.
Last month, nine Jewish teenagers were indicted for an Aug. 16 assault on a 17-year-old Arab. He was rescued by medics when his heart stopped after being punched and kicked as youngsters chanted “Death to the Arabs” in a Jerusalem city square.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned that incident as “something we cannot accept - not as Jews, not as Israelis.”