Two IDF Soldiers nearly lynched by Arabs in Haifa

Two IDF soldiers on leave and both in civilian clothing were brutally attacked by a gang of some 20 Israeli Arabs early Saturday close to Rambam Hospital in Haifa.  The presence of security guards in the area, who heard the shouts and rushed to intervene, possibly prevented the murder of the two soldiers who are still receiving treatment at Rambam for the injuries they sustained.

So far, the Police have detained 4 Arab youths suspected of being involved in the attack.

According to a relative of one of the soldiers, the gang were in a couple of cars and stopped the soldiers and asked them if they were Jewish. 

One of the soldiers said from his hospital bed that: "when they realized we were Jewish, they piled out of their cars armed with baseball bats, iron poles and began to beat the hell out of us.  We tried to get away but that made them even more angry and other people in the area also joined in.  Because w were on leave, we didn't have our guns with us so all we could do was try and protect our heads and hope for the best."

Accdording to the police spokesperson the attackers deliberately targeted Jews of military age.  The police praised the actions of security guards from Rambam Hospital who rushed to the scene and rescued the two soldiers and took them straight to the Emergency Room.

Another relative said: "The beat him so hard that he lost consciousnesses.  But even then they didn't stop.  One of them hit his head against the ground and another used a knife to slash his face while the others kept kicking him and beating him with metal bars and rocks.."

The relative added that they were still worried because the attackers threatened to come back and "finish the job off" because the police were involved.


Moshe Cohen, Commander of the Haifa Police, said "this incident appears to be a deliberate attack by Arab youths based on ethnic/political motives.  They appear to have been deliberately looking for Jews of Army age.  So far we have arrested 4 suspects and we expect more arrests as our investigation continues."

The Commissioner of Israeli Police,  Yochanan Danino, has instructed police to treat this matter with the utmost seriousness and said that no resources would be spared to find and punish those involved with the full severity of the law.  "We cannot allow this to go unpunished.  If we treat this as just a regular street brawl, the consequences for the future could be even more violence of this type", said Danino.

Both soldiers are still in hospital but expected to be released within a few days.

Photograph: Ynet

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