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Umm al-Fahem man convicted of homophobic attacks
By JOANNA PARASZCZUK
Umm al-Fahem resident convicted of beating, threatening two men in Or Yehuda because of their sexual orientation.
The Tel Aviv District Court on Tuesday convicted an Umm el-Fahm resident of
common assault and threats after finding him guilty of attacking two men because
of their sexual orientation.
Ahmed Jabarin was also convicted of unlawful
possession of a knife and attempted theft.
According to the indictment,
Jabarin attacked the two complainants, both Israeli Arabs, in February 2010 in
Jabarin hit the first complainant on the shoulder with a
He then threatened the second complainant by holding a
knife to his throat, saying that if the man ever returned to Or Yehuda, he would
Jabarin then took a cellphone belonging to the second
complainant, the indictment said.
In court, the two complainants
testified that the attack had been homophobic in nature.
The men said
that they had come to Or Yehuda to visit a male friend, Samir, who worked in a
local restaurant. Jabarin, whom they did not know, had seen them wearing makeup
and been “disgusted” that they were gay, consequently attacking them, they told
Police officers called to the scene testified that when they
arrested Jabarin as a suspect, he shouted after the two complainants that he
would kill them, and then told one of the police officers that he had beaten the
Jabarin also was said to have expressed his disapproval of the
complainants, telling police he believed the men had made sexual advances to him
even though he is not gay: “What, am I gay, that they should ‘hit on’ me?”
Jabarin denied attacking the men, and said he had just asked them to leave
because they had been playing loud music which disturbed him.
statement to police, Jabarin testified that he had gone to Samir’s restaurant
and “some gay guy came out.”
However, in court Jabarin testified that
there had been no homophobic motive to the attack, and he had only learned the
complainants were gay after seeing them in court.
Jabarin also testified
that he had not attacked Samir, who is also gay, and therefore could not be
In finding Jabarin guilty of the attack, Judge Michal Barak
Nevo said that Jabarin’s spontaneous statements to police regarding the
complainants’ sexual orientation contradicted his denial of a homophobic motive
to that assault.
“These things indicate a realtime knowledge that the
complainants are gay, and that this was the background for his actions,” Barak
Nevo said. The court will sentence Jabarin at a later date.