Shin Bet arrest five for 2021 lynching of Jewish man in Acre during riots

The five suspects join two Acre residents who were initially arrested and questioned as early as May 2021, with indictments already filed against them for their involvement in the attack.

 A car is set on fire during clashes between Arab and Jews in Acre, northern Israel, May 12, 2021 (photo credit: RONI OFER/FLASH90)
A car is set on fire during clashes between Arab and Jews in Acre, northern Israel, May 12, 2021
(photo credit: RONI OFER/FLASH90)

More than a year after the attempted lynching of Mor Janashvili in Acre, over the last two months, the Shin Bet and Israel Police arrested five suspects for their involvement in the attack on Janashvili during clashes in mixed cities during operation Guardian of the Walls in May 2021, the Shin Bet said in a statement on Wednesday.

One Shin Bet opened the investigation, it became clear that the five were involved in the tensions that took place in the city of Acre during Operation Guardian of the Walls, including their involvement in the attack on Janashvili.

The five suspects were prosecuted for a series of charges, including crimes that were committed with a nationalist motive, in the circumstances of an act of terrorism.

The suspects, residents of Acre, are Rani Piran, 27, Muhammad Hamad, 25, Ayman Zalfi, 28, Hissam Awad, 31 and Salah Majeg, 28.

They join two other Acre residents, Kosai Abbas and Adham Bashir, who were initially arrested and questioned as early as May 2021, with indictments already filed against them for their involvement in the attack.

 Five additional suspects for their involvement in the attack on Janashvili during clashes in mixed cities during operation Guardian of the Walls (credit: SHIN BET) Five additional suspects for their involvement in the attack on Janashvili during clashes in mixed cities during operation Guardian of the Walls (credit: SHIN BET)

The attack of Mor Janashvili

On May 12, 2021, Janashvili was traveling from Haifa to Acre when he arrived at a road that was blocked by trash cans that had been thrown onto the road by rioters.

A group of rioters, which included two of the suspects arrested last year, saw that a Jew was driving the vehicle and began throwing stones toward the vehicle, causing the driver to lose control of the car and hit a wall.

After the driver exited the vehicle, he was severely beaten by the rioters with stones and clubs as he attempted to escape the scene.

The driver was pushed to the ground, where the rioters continued to beat him, severely injuring him. Hilwani incited the crowd while shouting "The child is dead, the child is dead." The rioters also torched his vehicle, completely burning it
Janashvili was transferred to a hospital in Nahariya for medical treatment, suffering broken bones, cuts, three-disc herniations, hemorrhages and many abrasions.

Honenu attorney Haim Bleicher who is representing Janashvil congratulated the Shin Bet on the arrest, adding: "We, for our part, will demand full justice with the terrorists to ensure the deterrence of terrorist activities."

"We, for our part, will demand full justice with the terrorists to ensure the deterrence of terrorist activities."

Attorney Haim Bleicher

A detention hearing is expected to take place on Thursday at the Haifa District Court against another terrorist who participated in the attack - Muhammad Hamed, Mor and his family will come accompanied by attorney Bleicher to the hearing.