An IDF soldier may face hate crime and assault and battery charges for allegedly kicking an innocent Beduin man who had been restrained by security guards at a Beersheba mall on Sunday, on suspicion that he was a terrorist.
In Beersheba Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, Detective Moti Kakon described how the soldier, 20-year-old Idan Yonah, was walking past the Negev Mall in Beersheba when he saw a local Beduin man restrained by two security guards outside the mall.
Yonah and a second suspect then ran over and attacked him, Kakon said, with Yonah kicking the restrained man three times. The man did not need medical assistance afterwards, Kakon said.
Negev police said Tuesday night the Beduin man had not tried to enter the mall; he was passing through the parking lot when the security guards asked to see his ID.
The man refused, and a scuffle broke out between him and the guards.
Yonah’s attorney, Elad Ron, said that Yonah “saw two people trying to fight off an Arab man and heard people shouting ‘terrorist’ and came to help.”
Kakon responded that he had seen footage of the incident, saying, “We must not have seen the same video. In the video I saw, he kicked the victim while he was on the ground with two security guards on top of him. I didn’t see a video where they were in need of help or called for help.
“He [Yonah] didn’t come to help, he came to kick,” Kakon added.