By BEN HARTMAN 04/10/2013 13:20
Police say in two cases, victims were actually Ethiopian Jews, including one who was robbed and was hospitalized after attack.
Five Israeli men, including two minors, were arrested on Tuesday for carrying out a series of violent attacks on African foreigners in south Tel Aviv.
In two of the cases, the victims were in fact Ethiopian Jews, including one who was beaten and robbed of his cellphone in an attack that took place on the night of April 2nd. The victim of that attack was hit in the head and was hospitalized after the incident, though in the rest of the cases the victims were lightly hurt and did not need medical treatment police said.
Altogether, police on Tuesday arrested five youths, including two minors aged 17 and three adults aged 18, 19, and 21. Those four were taken for a remand extension on Tuesday and will stay in custody at least until Thursday. The 18-year-old suspect was arrested on Tuesday evening and will be brought for a remand hearing on Wednesday evening.
None of the suspects are soldiers.
Police said that they made the arrests after they received a tip about the assailants. They said that they aren’t sure what motivated the suspects to attack their victims, whether it was because of racist motives, or because they wanted to commit general mayhem and they assumed that foreigners would be less likely to go to police. What they did confirm is that they chose their victims at random, focusing on those they believed to be African migrants.
In January, Eilat police arrested a group of four local men, including a soldier and one minor, who they said were linked to a series of violent attacks and robberies on African migrants in the city over the course of two months.
In that case, all of the victims needed medical treatment after the attacks and were robbed in each instance. Following the arrests of the suspects, police released a photo taken in their car, which showed a metal pole, pepper spray, a screwdriver, a knife, a chain, and gloves, all of which they said were used in the attacks. The four suspects were indicted for the attacks earlier this year, and their trial is ongoing.