Gang of 11 minors indicted for attacks on Africans in TA

Defendants allegedly committed crimes as acts of revenge following media reports about criminal offenses carried out by Africans.

Justice gavel court law book judge 311 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Justice gavel court law book judge 311
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
With tensions still simmering in south Tel Aviv following last week’s race riots, the district attorney charged 10 minors on Thursday with racially motivated attacks on African migrants and their property.
According to the indictment, filed in the Tel Aviv District Court, the defendants organized and carried out several attacks against Sudanese and Eritrean nationals in the Hatikva neighborhood, as acts of revenge following media reports about criminal offenses carried out by Africans.
Ten of the defendants are charged with physically attacking migrants, while an 11th teenager was charged with damaging property for racially motivated purposes.
The defendants, who cannot be identified because they are minors, are charged with conspiracy to commit a felony (aggravated assault), aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, aggravated bodily harm and breaking and entering.
The district attorney decided to attach the aggravating factor of a racist motive to the offenses, which doubles the maximum penalty for each offense. The decision was based on evidence gathered by the police, the district attorney said, which proves a racist motive was present.
The defendants allegedly attacked migrants at random, as they passed them by on the streets, sometimes with improvised weapons such as wooden planks and iron chains.
In some cases, the indictment said, the defendants even plundered property belonging to African migrants.
Three of the attacks allegedly occurred near the market in Hatikva, where the defendants attacked African migrants with planks and clubs. In two cases, the defendants are alleged to have stolen bicycles from the African migrants they attacked.
In another incident near the Beit Dani community center in Hatikva, the defendants attacked an Eritrean man with wooden planks, stones and an iron chain, the indictment said.
The gang allegedly beat the Eritrean man around the head and other parts of his body.
After the attack, the victim was rushed to hospital in an ambulance, where doctors treated him, the indictment said.
The minors allegedly attacked another African man near the Hatikva public park, beating him with a motorcycle helmet, a golf club and an iron chain.
On another occasion, the defendants broke into an African migrant’s store and stole goods worth around NIS 2,000, the indictment said.
Some of the defendants allegedly also broke into another store and stole the cash register.
Prosecuting attorney Moran Lavie asked the court to order the remand of some of the defendants and to impose strict house arrest conditions on the others, arguing that they had chosen to take the law into their own hands and attack their victims at random based on their ethnic origin.
The defendants carried out the alleged violent offenses with cruelty, even using weapons on some occasions, Lavie argued to the court.