17-year-old who beat Arabs in Jerusalem sentenced to one year

Holocaust Remembrance Day attack caught on camera.

A 17-year-old was sentenced to one year in prison by a Jerusalem court on Sunday for assaulting two Arab teens with sticks, clubs and knives along with several other Jewish teenagers on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day in a racially-motivated hate crime. The teenager had confessed to taking part in the May 1 attack as part of a plea bargain, which did not specify what punishment the court should impose but recommended he receive probation. "I can't imagine that throughout his life the accused never heard of the Jews' Holocaust and was never exposed to the horrors in the pursuit of people simply for belonging to a different race," Judge Nava Ben-Or wrote. Only a prison term would deter other young people, the judge said, adding that the teen's stated desire to begin his mandatory military service could not be a consideration for failing to convict him. "We have witnessed a regretful and shameless phenomenon of extensive willingness to take part in a racially motivated violent event, without any reservation or thought," the judge wrote. The defendant was one of 11 Jewish teenagers indicted in the Jerusalem District Court for allegedly stabbing and beating Arabs, aged 16 and 18, near the entrance to the shopping mall in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze'ev. According to the charge sheet, the suspects met up outside a burger restaurant after a ICQ message was sent to "cleanse" the neighborhood in general and the mall in particular of Arab teens for "pestering" Jewish girls. A few dozen Jewish youngsters turned out at the appointed position, including some armed with boards, clubs and knives, the indictment says. Shortly thereafter, the suspects brutally assaulted the two Arabs, who were making their way home to the nearby Shuafat refugee camp, leaving one of them unconscious. The attack was caught on tape by the mall's security cameras. The 17-year-old youth was also sentenced to an additional year of probation, and ordered to pay each of his victims NIS 500. Separately, a Jerusalem court on Sunday extended the remand by five days of two Jewish teens suspected of stabbing an Arab resident of east Jerusalem in the city's Mea She'arim neighborhood last week, police said.