The violence in Beit Shemesh has reached the Mayor: Police arrested a young man in his twenties who attacked Beit Shemesh Mayor Moshe Abutbul last night.
The attack took place after an event in which the Mayor participated. After Abutbul left the stage, the young man approached and allegedly threw ice cream and beer at him, hitting his body and clothes.
When police searched the man's belongings after the arrest they confiscated a knife and pepper spray. The suspect was arrested and interrogated for assault, carrying a knife, threats, and malicious damage. Today he will be brought to the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court for a hearing on his case.
The Mayor said he did not know the suspect but learned that he had visited his office yesterday morning and was looking for him.
The Mayor was quoted as saying on the incident. "He asked the secretary in the office where I was, she asked him what he wanted, he said, 'I want a blessing.' She told him I wasn't there, and the incident occurred that evening.
"When I got offstage after singing Who believes is not afraid - how symbolic - I went down and wandered among the crowd to greet them for summer vacation, and he kept behind me and then poured what he had spilled on me. I asked him why and he repeated 'Why?' and made a movement with his cuffed hands as he was arrested. Personally I don't know him, but maybe the family. I hope the police does its job; there'll be no violence in our city and behavior must be normative no matter who the victim is. We must be strong."
Many residents expressed shock over the act. Mayoral candidate Dr. Aliza Bloch also sent a condemnation of the incident: "I heard with shock of the violent act against Moshe Abutbul that took place during an event in the city's sun festival. Disagreements are important, violence mustn't be. I absolutely condemn the use of verbal or physical violence. There's no place in the city for it and there will be no place for it."