Palestina’48-Israel: Mob attacks on Yom Kippur leave three Palestinian citizens injured

MEE Staff

Middle East Eye  /  October 6, 2022One of those injured said dozens of locals began attacking them after they identified them as Palestinian citizens of Israel.

Israeli mobs attacked Palestinian citizens in two separate incidents and injured three people during Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year. 

The assaults, reported by local media on Wednesday, took place in the Tel Aviv suburb of Bat Yam on Tuesday evening.

In the first incident, five Palestinians from the Negev (Naqab) region in the south of the country were attacked in their car by a crowd who objected to them being outdoors during the religious holiday in which Jews customarily empty their roads to observe the holiday.

Three people were wounded in the attack, including one who suffered from a stabbing wound.

Police rescued one of the men from the crowd, taking him to a nearby police station before sending him to hospital for treatment.

Two other passengers were found later with wounds, while the other two men were not injured. There were no reports of arrests over the attack.

Ynet news reported that one of those injured told police he had come to Bat Yam to spend the evening on the shoreline with no intention of provoking a fight, but when locals identified him and his friends as Palestinian citizens of Israel, dozens of them began attacking them.

In a separate incident, a crowd of Jewish worshippers overturned a car in Bat Yam after noticing the passengers were Palestinian citizens of Israel.

According to the police, the passengers, who were from Jaljulia in central Israel, were stopped near the entrance to the city by officers and asked to leave the vehicle due to it being Yom Kippur. 

Minutes later, a group of Jews from a nearby synagogue came and overturned the car after the passengers had left it.

‘Lynching attempt’

Reacting to the attacks, Meretz party leader Zehava Galon slammed what she called a “lynching attempt” on Twitter. 

“Where did we get to? Well – a lynching attempt in Bat Yam because the passengers in the car were Arabs,” Galon said.

She added: “When you are brainwashed by the media every day that all Arabs are terrorists and terrorists should be eliminated, this is what happens.”

In a statement, Minister of Public Security Omer Balev described the attacks as “sad and shameful”. 

“Not only because it is violence and the taking of the law into the hands of a mob, in a way that desecrates and humiliates Yom Kippur – but also because it is unethical and immoral behaviour that has no place in our community every day of the year,” said Balev.

Roads in Jewish and mixed towns are generally empty during Yom Kippur, despite there being no law preventing drivers from taking their cars out during the holiday. 

Most Palestinian are forced to stay home during the day, avoiding driving through Jewish towns out of fear as they are often pelted with rocks.

The incidents were not the first time mobs in the Bat Yam have attacked Palestinian citizens of Israel.

Last year, a crowd pulled a Palestinian citizen of Israel, Saeed Mousa, from his car and beat him in an attack that left him motionless and bloodied on the ground.