'I Feel Hurt That You Can't Walk Around Ashdod'

The hareidi man who was attacked on Friday night in Ashdod recalls the attack. "I was hurt not just physically but also emotionally."

Elad Benari & Yoni Kempinski ,

Hareidi man who was attacked in Ashdod
Hareidi man who was attacked in Ashdod
Israel news photo: Yoni Kempinski

Y, the 31-year-old hareidi-religious man who was attacked on Friday night in Ashdod, spoke to Arutz Sheva on Sunday and recalled the attack.

“I was walking on Friday night towards my parents’ house,” he said. “At the entrance to district 8, where my parents live, stood three guys and one of them left the groups and tried to get near me. I walked away and he called out, ‘Come here!’ I kept walking and he told me, ‘Come here!’”

Y continued, “I asked him, ‘What do you want? Shabbat Shalom.’ He said, ‘They’re speaking about racism in the media, what do you have to say about it?’ I told him, ‘Once again, Shabbat Shalom. I’m everybody’s friend, I’m not a racist. Let me keep walking.’ I kept walking and he ran after me and said, ‘Don’t run away.’ I saw that it was becoming serious so I began to run away. Not a second passed and I felt a strong pull from behind and then he punched me in the eye. My glasses smashed into pieces and got into my eyes. There was a lot of blood. He punched me in the face again and hit me. I fell on the floor. I was completely dazed and all of a sudden I didn’t see him anywhere.”

Y eventually managed to get up and made his way to his parents’ house, where his father took him to a paramedic who lives nearby. The paramedic gave Y initial treatment and then referred him to the hospital. Y and his father made their way to the Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, where he had 19 stitches to cover up the injuries.

The police said on Saturday that they would investigate the incident only after an official complaint is filed. Y said that he has filed a complaint, adding that he feels hurt not just physically but also emotionally.

“I feel hurt that you can’t walk around here in Ashdod safely,” he said. “The guy told me that it was because of the media talking about racism. Something’s gone wrong here. We need to calm down so we can live here safely.”