Netanel Arami hy''d
Netanel Arami hy''dFlash 90

In a dramatic turn of events Petah Tikva's Magistrates Court on Wednesday morning lifted a gag order over the murder of Jewish construction worker Netanel Arami - revealing that his murder was indeed an Arab terrorist attack.

Arami's family have  long insisted that his death was an act of murder by one or more of his Arab colleagues after he fell from a Petah Tikva construction site - apparently after his ropes were cut as he rappelled from the eleventh floor. The Arami family have led a hard-fought campaign for police to make public details of their investigation, and just yesterday petitioned the court to lift the gag order.

Initial reports claimed that when police arrived on the roof of the Petah Tikva building Arami fell from they found his ropes cut and Arab workers laughing, but police and other officials have remained tight-lipped on details of their investigation ever since. Police inaction and repeated allegations of a cover-up have sparked public outcry and protests.

Judge Merav Greenberg released for publication the fact that following Arami's murder police arrested and interrogated three Arab suspects "under suspicion that they were involved with causing his death for nationalistic motives."

The three were released from police custody after a lengthy interrogation, as "no legal justification was found" to keep them detained while the investigation is still ongoing.

The court also released for publication the fact that Arami's family received a document from police confirming that they qualified as family of a "victim of terror."

Arami's mother Miriam - who last month accused authorities of leading a cover-up over the affair - responded to the court's decision with both a sense of vindication and frustration.

"It is important to us that they publicized the matter so that everyone should know the truth, and know that Netanel went to work and didn't come but, but was murdered because he was a Jew," she said.

"All the silencing of people and attempts to cover-up did not succeed."

"With the help of God, we promised Netanel two weeks ago when we visited him at the cemetery on his birthday, that we will not rest and will not be silent until the murderers are found," she said.

But the grieving mother could not contain her anger at the muted reaction of government officials to her son's murder.

"We are angry at the fact that not a single government official such as the President or Prime Minister have come to comfort us, and didn't even offer condolences over the telephone."

"Abu Khdeir everyone mourned," she noted, referring to the Arab teenager murdered during the summer by Jewish extremists - an attack which drew sharp condemnations and an outpouring of support for the Abu Khdeir family by Israeli officials.

"Apparently for them he is more precious than the blood of my son."

Attorney Hur Uriel Nizri of the legal rights group Honenu, who has represented the Arami family in their campaign to lift the gag order, hailed the court's decision.

"It is important to say that until now no public or government officials have made contact with the family, despite the fact that the matter was known and clear (to all).

"As such, we call on the President, who knows how to go visit victims of other kinds of violence should come and comfort the family... Netanel Arami was killed because he was a Jew."

"I thank the court for its decision and we call on the various government authorities to come and do their jobs. We call on the Shabak (Israel Security Agency) and to the police to continue to investigate and carry out the required investigative duties," he continued.

Despite that, however, Nizri added that he and the family were "pained" at the fact that it took a long and difficult legal campaign just to reveal the truth about the affair.