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Judge Orders Release of Arab who Broke Jewish Minor's Skull

Arab who assaulted Jewish youth with bat on Shavuot by Kotel released to house arrest, legal expert slams racist bias.
By Ido Ben-Porat, Ari Yashar
First Publish: 6/26/2014, 5:35 PM

Yusuf Huliasi wielding a wooden bat
Yusuf Huliasi wielding a wooden bat
Screenshot

A judge ordered the release of an Arab resident of Jerusalem who broke a Jewish minor's skull with a wooden bat hours before the holiday of Shavuot began at the start of the month, as the youth was on his way to the Western Wall (Kotel).

The attacker, 28-year-old Yusuf Huleisi, was indicted for assaulting the 17-year-old as he was on his way to the Kotel with friends. The minor had stopped to urinate under a tree near Huleisi's house, located near the Dung Gate just to the south of the Old City and very near to the Kotel.

At that point Huleisi confronted him and attacked him with a bat, causing a depressed skull fracture, wounds to his scalp and intracranial hemorrhaging and sending him to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital.

The case against Huleisi was made all the more convincing by video evidence capturing the moment of the assault:

While Judge Rivka Feldman-Friedman of the Jerusalem District Court acknowledged that the evidence was clear against Huleisi, and yet despite the evidence and Huleisi's past criminal record, she ordered to release him to house arrest in the Jerusalem Arab-majority neighborhood Jabel Mukaber.

The prosecuting attorney requested to appeal the decision, but took back the request several hours later.

A legal expert discussed the case with Arutz Sheva, and assessed that the judge's decision was very problematic.

"Just a few weeks ago Supreme Court Judge Yitzhak Amit published a decision to send Jewish youths involved in an altercation with Arabs to jail until the end of proceedings, when the results (of the clash) were much less serious," said the expert.

"It's strange and irregular that when it's an Arab, the final result is his release from arrest," added the source.

According to the expert, Judge Feldman-Friedman in her role as a Jerusalem Magistrates Court judge was known for a balanced approach and fair rulings, which makes the recent ruling all the more surprising.

The prosecuting attorney also came in for criticism by the expert, who said "in my opinion it's pretty clear that if (the defendants) were Jews, the prosecution would have submitted a petition to the Supreme Court as was done several weeks ago. The prosecution's management is surprising and serious."

Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir, who represents one of the Jewish youth attacked in the incident for the Honenu legal aid organization, noted earlier in the month how things would have been different if the Jews had been the attackers instead.

"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.