ramle park attack 88.
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Ramle Mayor Yoel Lavi is disgusted at the failure of several bystanders to come to the aid of a man who was viciously assaulted by a dozen gang members in a local park last week.
"This is the plague of our country, the failure to help. We're seeing these things and we are not getting involved. Instead we are standing on the sidelines," Lavi said on Monday. "This is the feebleness of the Jewish people in its homeland."
The November 9 attack began when a couple walked through a Ramle park and crossed the path of a sizable gang of Arab Israelis who were drinking hard spirits.
Rude comments about the woman were made by the young men, according to police. "What a body," one youth said. "You're so hot," added another.
The woman's boyfriend asked the youths to cease making the inappropriate remarks. In response, one youth approached the man and poured vodka on him. Within seconds, 12 gang members had surrounded the man, and began brutally beating him.
The attack continued as the man lay on the ground. Efforts by his girlfriend to intervene were rebuffed, and her cries for help went unheeded by several people who were exercising nearby.
The entire incident was captured on a CCTV camera installed by the Ramle Municipality as part of the nationwide City Without Violence program.
In recent days, Ramle police used the footage to arrest eight suspects - seven men and a minor.
"Ramle has the determination to solve such crimes, both in the municipality and in the police," Lavi said.
"We will continue installing cameras in the city, and we will upgrade the current layout by installing high-zoom undercover cameras in large numbers," the mayor added. "We will help police in every we can can to track down violent offenders."
Lavi added that "certain areas that we have learned to look out for" would see more cameras installed.
Ramle's participation in the City Without Violence Program was a vital component in the war against violence, he said.
Under the plan, CCTV cameras overlooking city centers feed 24-hour control rooms with images. The program is in place in 12 cities and will be expanded to dozens more.
City Without Violence costs NIS 20 million a year to operate. The government covers 47 percent of the outlay, while the International Fellowship of Christians Jews pays for 38%. Local authorities pay for the remaining 15%.
"I offer my thanks to the program, to the Welfare Ministry, and to Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, who is really doing his best to bring down violent crime," Lavi said.
According to data assembled by the program, Ramle saw a 40% drop in violent incidents in the 2007-2008 period.