Two Palestinian men were reportedly beaten on Friday by a Jewish mob in Jerusalem after it was learned they were Arab, Haaretz is reporting.
Amir Shwiki and Samer Mahfouz, both 20, have been hospitalized in serious condition after they were brutally beaten unconscious by a mob armed with baseball bats and iron bars, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel told Haaretz.
Describing the incident to Haaretz, Mahfouz said a man approached him and asked him for a cigarette. Mahfouz said he didn’t have any, “and [the man] heard I’m Arab and went away, coming back with his friends, maybe 12 people. They had sticks and iron bars and they hit us over the head.”
Police have launched an investigation into the incident, which is believed to be racially motivated, according to Jerusalem Post.
Palestinians have seen a recent increase in “price tag” attacks and harassment, as suspected Jewish extremists — angered by government policies believed to be detrimental to settlements — have exacted a price on Israeli Arabs, The Times of Israel reports.
Times of Israel writes:
Attackers have slashed the tires of Arab-owned cars in the Israeli towns of Yokneam, Acre and Fureidis. Graffiti reading “Death to Arabs” was sprayed in Yokneam and eastern Jerusalem. On Friday, Jerusalem’s St. George Romanian Orthodox Church was defaced with the words “Price tag, King David is for the Jews, Jesus is garbage.”
In one particularly savage attack earlier this month, 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir was kidnapped near his home, beaten, and burned alive, with his charred body found in a West Bank forest, Boston Herald reported.
His death was believed to be revenge for the kidnapping deaths of three Israeli teens in June.
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