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Israeli prosecutors charge 3 Jewish suspects over 'attempted lynching' of Arab man pulled out of his car and beaten

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Two Jewish men and an unnamed minor were indicted on charges of attempted murder and terrorism Monday over a brutal attack that landed an Arab man in hospital during the height of Israeli-Palestinian tensions earlier this month.

The victim, Saeed Mousa, was assaulted by a mob in the town of Bat Yam on May 12 as an exchange of strikes between the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Gaza-based armed group Hamas provoked a wave of violent Jewish-Palestinian clashes inside Israel.

Mousa was dragged out of his car and harshly beaten with flagpoles and even an electric scooter in a shocking attack broadcast on live TV. The Israeli-Arab was taken to hospital in serious condition, but has reportedly improved.

WARNING! DISTURBING FOOTAGE

On Monday, the Tel Aviv District Attorney’s Office charged Netanel Binyamin, 25, Lahav Ohanina, 18, and a 16-year-old minor, whose name couldn’t be disclosed for legal reasons, over the attack on Mousa. In its statement, the prosecutors described the incident as an “attempted lynching”.

The three have been indicted over the attempted murder of Mousa and face other charges ranging from aggravated intentional assault to causing a public disturbance and incitement to terrorism. They acted out of nationalist and racist motives, the prosecutors said.

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The suspects are also believed to have taken part in an attack on an Arab-owned restaurant, while shouting “Death to Arabs,” on that same day.

According to prosecutors, the trio were active members of a group on WhatsApp, which urged Jews to come to the promenade in Bat Yam in order to target Israeli-Arabs. 

The Israeli public broadcaster Kan reportedly filmed Ohanina saying that he and the others took to the streets on May 12 “to fight with Arabs,” declaring “we will beat them; if necessary, we will kill them.”

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On Sunday, the Israeli Justice Ministry announced that it had so far filed 140 indictments against around 230 people in relation to the clashes and rioting earlier this month. The ministry didn’t reveal the nationalities of the suspects, but the Jerusalem Post paper reported that only around 20 of them were Jews while the majority were Arabs.

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