Police arrest 19-year-old over savage J’lem brawl

Additional arrests expected after Arab man left critically injured in clash between Jewish, Arab teens in downtown Jerusalem.

Jerusalem brawl 370 (photo credit: Avraham Bergman, News 24)
Jerusalem brawl 370
(photo credit: Avraham Bergman, News 24)
A savage fight between Jewish and Arab teenagers in downtown Jerusalem’s Zion Square late Thursday night left a 20-year-old Arab man in critical condition.
Witnesses called it a “lynch situation” against three Arabs.
A 19-year-old Jewish Jerusalem man was arrested on Saturday afternoon in connection with the beating. He was brought to the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court for a remand hearing on Saturday. Police refused to say whether he had a history of similar incidents.
They expect to make additional arrests in the case in the coming days.
Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said police were checking into the background of the incident and did not know who started the fight. He added that the people involved were aged 15 to 20, according to eyewitnesses.
Acting Jerusalem police head Asst.-Ch. Manny Yitzhaki appointed a special team to investigate the attack.
“The area is under video surveillance; we are checking the cameras,” Ben-Ruby said. “We will know what happened after we check the cameras.”
An eyewitness wrote in a Facebook post that she heard dozens of Jewish youths shouting curses at three Arabs, and then a fight broke out.
“When one of the Arab teenagers fell to the floor, the teenagers continued to hit him in the head. He lost consciousness, his eyes rolled, his angled head twitched, and then those who were kicking him fled and the rest gathered in a circle around him, with some still shouting with hate in their eyes,” she wrote. She added that the Jewish teenagers apparently attacked the group of Arabs without provocation, previously saying that they “wanted to beat up an Arab.”
Amir Edri, a Magen David Adom paramedic from the intensive care division, was notified of the attack at 12:10 a.m. on Friday.
“When we arrived we saw a man about 20 years old on the ground with no pulse,” Edri said. Edri took over lifesaving measures from United Hatzalah medics who were first on the scene. After about 10 minutes of intensive CPR and the use of defibrillators, the man’s pulse returned. He was taken to Hadassah University Medical Center, Ein Kerem, in critical but stable condition.
Edri said the Arab man had suffered a strong blow to the head but he did not see any marks of weapons such as knives. On Friday, the man was still on a respirator but did not seem to be suffering from lasting brain damage or internal injuries, Edri added.
In August 2010, a group of drunk teenagers beat a homeless man to death with a wooden plank in the same area, also late on a Thursday night. During the investigation, one of the teenagers said that the victim, Israeli-American Lance Wolf, 60, had refused to give them a cigarette.