Nine Israeli teenagers, eight of them minors, were on Tuesday charged with taking part in a violent hate attack on a 17-year-old Palestinian from east Jerusalem that left him in critical condition.
All nine are suspected of involvement in a savage attack on Jamal Julani in the early hours of August 17 that nearly cost him his life.
According to a justice ministry statement, seven minors and a 19-year-old will stand trial at Jerusalem District Court on charges of incitement to racism, incitement to violence, and aggravated- and racially-motivated assault.
The ninth suspect, a female minor, will be tried at the city’s magistrates’ court for incitement to racism and incitement to violence.
Details on the chargesheet showed the nine were part of a large group of Jewish youngsters hanging out in Kikar HaKhatulot in downtown Jerusalem late on August 16 who began calling for attacks on Arab passers-by.
“Whoever is a man should come and beat Arabs,” one of them shouted.
They also chanted racist slogans, including “death to Arabs”, and began chasing Arab pedestrians out of the square, it said.
The group then walked to Zion Square where they attacked a number of Arabs who fled before they began chasing Julani and his three cousins, who live in mainly Arab east Jerusalem.
The nine caught up with Julani and the males in the group beat him into unconsciousness. He was resuscitated at the scene and taken to Ein Kerem hospital in critical condition.
He was released last Thursday.
The attack shocked Israel’s political establishment, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemning it as a combination of “racism and violence” which the Jewish state would not tolerate.
President Shimon Peres said he was “full of shame” over the incident, and parliament speaker Reuven Rivlin, who visited Julani in hospital, apologised in the name of Israel and assumed responsibility for the unchecked racial violence.
Education Minister Gideon Saar ordered that classes and discussions on the attack be held in schools this week.