2 Israeli-Arabs convicted for attacking IDF soldier in Tel Aviv in 2021

In May 2021, Muhammad Iyash and Ali Mutzri were part of a group of rioting protesters involved in the attack against an IDF soldier during Operation Guardian of the Walls.

 IDF conduct arrests in the West Bank, August 25, 2020 (photo credit: IDF SPOKESMAN’S UNIT)
IDF conduct arrests in the West Bank, August 25, 2020
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESMAN’S UNIT)

Two Israeli-Arabs have been convicted of a mix of causing aggravated bodily injury and of incitement to terror and violence against an IDF soldier during the May 2021 Gaza War by the Tel Aviv District Court.

The verdict was handed down on Thursday as part of a plea bargain deal in a case running parallel to the case against Nur Yusef for attempted murder against the same soldier, known as L.S. (his true name is under gag order).

On May 13, 2021, Muhammad Iyash and Ali Mutzri were part of a group of rioting protesters involved in the attack against an IDF soldier on Sderot Jerusalem Street in Jaffa.

The prosecution will request that the court impose a jail sentence of five years on Mutzri and 22 months on Iyash.

According to the state, the sentences requested were longer because the crimes included ideological motivations to indirectly support the conflict with the IDF during that period.

 Israeli police seen on the streets of the central Israeli city of Lod, where synaogues and cars were torched as well as shops damaged, by Arab residents rioted in the city. May 12, 2021.  (credit: YOSSI ALONI/FLASH90) Israeli police seen on the streets of the central Israeli city of Lod, where synaogues and cars were torched as well as shops damaged, by Arab residents rioted in the city. May 12, 2021. (credit: YOSSI ALONI/FLASH90)

How did they coordinate an attack on an IDF soldier in Tel Aviv?

In a WhatsApp group in which the defendants participated, Iyash called on those in the group to join in on the riots, giving the specific location of Sderot Jerusalem Street.

Some of the responses to Iyash included statements, such as “everyone be ready… for tear gas, weapons, objects” and “bring weapons.”

Another noted that “Molotov cocktails are prepared…and have been placed where Boaz is at the kiosk.”

Further, Iyash suggested that all of the group members remove any cameras they had in their possession in order to thwart efforts by security forces to collect evidence on them after the fact.

Mutzri got off his motorcycle near where L.S. was standing, dressed in army pants and boots with a white t-shirt, and pinned him to the wall, where he started to kick him.

Others started to kick him also and sprayed him with tear gas.

Yusef ran across from the other side of the street and struck L.S. in the head with a brick in an attempt to kill him.

L.S. fell to the ground.

The group of attackers only stopped attacking L.S. when other Israeli citizens nearby came to his aid.

Iyash took a video of L.S. as blood was steaming out of his head and sent it to the WhatsApp group with the voiceover saying, “He is done. This is him after he got beaten. He is done. He can’t move.”

“He is done. This is him after he got beaten. He is done. He can’t move.”

Muhammad Iyash

Moreover, Iyash took another video of the incitement of L.S. being evacuated by paramedics.

Later, Iyash sent additional messages calling for more violence against Jews, including a specific call to throw firebombs at Jewish homes.

In addition, Iyash publicized a message directly supporting Hamas's military wing.