Police arrest suspect for attack on three Arab-Israelis near Kiryat Haim

The 23-year-old resident of Kiryat Haim was called in for questioning after he allegedly severely assulted three residents of the Arab-Israeli town of Shefa-ʻAmr who he encountered at the beach.

Blue Shield 1 Police photos  (photo credit: POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
Blue Shield 1 Police photos
Police arrested two suspects on Saturday in connection with a violent attack on three Arab-Israeli citizens which took place on a beach near Kiryat Haim on Thursday, the police spokesperson reported.
The 23-year-old resident of Kiryat Haim and the 29-year-old Nesher resident were called in for questioning after they allegedly severely assaulted three residents of the Arab-Israeli town of Shefa-Amr whom they encountered at the beach.
One of the suspects, the younger of the two, was later released by the Haifa Magistrate Court for lack of evidence, reports Ynet Saturday night.
"The police hurried to arrest him based on some obscure informant," said the defendant's attorney. "He claims he was home [and not at the scene] and if the police would have checked, they would have known it was true."
According to the police report, a number of Israelis approached the victims in the late hours of Thursday night. After a short conversation, they violently attacked the three Arab-Israeli citizens.
The victims were evacuated to Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center, and later filed a police complaint after receiving treatment. According to the victims, the motive of the attack was nationalistic.
“A few young Jews passed by and asked us if we were Arabs,” the victims told Ynet news. After some minutes, they “returned with equipment and beat us. We have bruises all over our bodies.”
The victims claimed that the assailants yelled nationalistic slogans and called them “Arab dogs.”
One of the victims is a doctor, reported Israeli media, and another is a nurse. "I do not differentiate when I treat people," one of them told Ynet.
Head of the Zionist Union party Avi Gabbay wrote a response on Twitter, "Good citizens who wake up every morning and save lives, go have fun at the beach and suffer a shocking, painful assault just because they're Arab. I wish the racists who attacked them a long term in jail."
In a separate case on Thursday, two Palestinians were reportedly assaulted by a group of Israelis near the settlement of Yitzhar at the Kfar Tapuah junction.
According to the reports, two Palestinian men were dragged out of their cars and beaten by a group of people who appeared to be “extremist settlers.” In addition, a number of Palestinian-owned cars in the West Bank village of Urif were vandalized.
“We’ve seen a lot of publications about nationalistic attacks in the past,” the victims of Thursday’s beach attack told Ynet. “We did not expect this to happen to us, certainly we didn’t expect to experience one of the toughest and most severe attacks. Unfortunately, despite the various condemnations against racism, it persists – who will be next?”