An indictment was filed on Wednesday against an Arab resident of Jerusalem who broke a Jewish minor's skull with a wooden bat last Tuesday right before Shavuot, as the youth was on his way to the Western Wall (Kotel).
The attacker, 28-year-old Yusuf Huleisi, was arrested last Tuesday. In the request for an indictment, Jerusalem District Attorney Shmuel Barzilai noted Huleisi has a criminal record for possession of a knife and being involved in skirmishes.
Barzilai, in requesting the continued arrest of Huleisi until the end of procedures, pointed to the overwhelming evidence presented by witnesses and video footage. The shocking film of the attack, uploaded by the Honenu legal aid organization, can be seen here:
The indictment, released Wednesday morning by the Justice Ministry, stated that the 17-year-old Jewish minor was on his way to the Kotel with a group of friends at 6:30 p.m. last Tuesday, just before the start of the Shavuot holiday.
The minor stopped on Ma'ale Hashalom Street, near the Dung Gate just to the south of the Old City and very near to the Kotel, in order to urinate under a tree near Huleisi's house.
Huleisi claims he thought the minor intended to break into his yard and damage it, and proceeded to push the minor, hold him from behind and hit him, at which point the youth cried out to his friends for help.
Shouting ensued between the minor's friends and numerous local Arab residents who suddenly appeared on the scene.
At this point, Huleisi hit the minor on the head with a wooden bat with intent to cause serious harm, according to the indictment.
The minor suffered a depressed skull fracture, wounds to his scalp and intracranial hemorrhaging. He was evacuated to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital for treatment.
Huleisi was hit with two charges over the attack, the first causing injury with aggravated intent and the second unlawful assault.
"If this was reversed, Israel would be up in arms"
Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir, who represents one of the Jewish youth attacked in the incident for Honenu, noted how things would have been different if the Jews had been the attackers instead.
"If this had occurred in the opposite manner, the entire agenda in Israel would have been busy only on this issue," argued Ben-Gvir. "The media would have spread on thick the red titles, the police would be conducting arrests, and (Justice Minister) Tzipi Livni and (President) Shimon Peres and even the prime minister would have been condemning it."
"But when a Jew takes a bat to the head, the hypocrisy celebrates and the media is silent. We demand that the police enforce justice, submit an indictment and ask for the attacker to be arrested until the end of legal proceedings," said Ben-Gvir.
Livni, Peres and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu have all been outspoken in their condemnation of "price tag" vandalism attacks by Jews against Arab-owned property.
Aside from physical attacks of the nature of this latest case, numerous incidents of Arab "price tagging", including on the graves of Tannaic scholars in the north and swastikas scrawled on Israeli flags in the heart of Jerusalem, have received notably less, if any, media attention than similar incidents committed by suspected Jewish extremists.