Two gangs arrested following attacks on Arabs in North

Teens suspected of assaulting man, 20, in Tiberias; Acre youths accused of 'prolonged campaign of harassment and intimidation.'

Acre burnt car 244.88 (photo credit: AP)
Acre burnt car 244.88
(photo credit: AP)
Police have arrested two groups of teenagers suspected of racist assaults on Arabs in the North, but they say no link exists between the two cases. In Tiberias, police responded swiftly overnight Monday after receiving word of an attack on a 20-year-old Arab man from Majd el-Kurum by a gang of eight youths aged 14 to 16. The man was lightly wounded in the attack and taken to the Poriya Hospital for treatment. Shortly after the attack, police mobilized a large number of officers across the area and set up checkpoints on surrounding roads. The first suspect was arrested after a chase on foot, while police found the remaining gang members hiding in a bus. On Tuesday, the Tiberias Magistrate's Court extended the youths' remand. Cmdr. Zohar Dabir, head of the Amakim Police subdistrict, praised his officers' "swift and determined response" and success in apprehending the attackers. On Sunday, police in Nazareth Illit arrested nine members of a gang suspected of a prolonged campaign of harassment, intimidation, and arson attacks against Arabs in the city. The alleged acts included setting fire to apartments and torching cars. Northern District chief Cmdr. Shimon Koren said police would work to protect all civilians and prosecute all lawbreakers "irrespective of religion, race or sex. The suspects will be brought to justice." Nazareth Police chief Dep.-Cmdr. Lutfi Falah said the residents had come under attack only because they were Arabs. Despite the convergence of the incidents, an Amakim Police spokeswoman said tensions between Jews and Arabs in the area had not increased. "These are separate and unrelated incidents," the spokeswoman said.