Before the revelry: youths attacked the guards in the Meron compound (documentation on social networks according to section 27A of the Copyright Law)
The Nazareth District Court is considering the possibility of releasing to house arrest the two defendants who severely beat security guards at the Tomb of Rashbi in Meron. In the meantime, the court decided Wednesday to extend the detention of the two men, while at the same time sending them for a probation report during which an opinion will be received regarding the danger posed by the suspects. The Northern District Attorney's Office asks that they remain in detention. In about a month and a half, another hearing will be held, in which it will be decided whether to extend their detention until the end of the legal proceedings against them or release them to house arrest.
The serious incident occurred about a month ago, two days before the revelry in Meron. The defendants, Yaakov Berger from Hispin and Meir Knafo from Beit She'an, violently assaulted two guards who were at the scene - Shafi Hamoud and Rami Gadir. Hamoud said after the incident that the defendants began attacking them after they spoke to each other in Arabic. "Everybody, seven, came to us and started attacking us," he recalled. "I was trying to defend myself, the other guy ran away. He was attacked, his head was bleeding. I have a fractured hand. I miraculously got out of there, they almost killed me. I told them, 'I'm Druze,' and they kept attacking me, beating me. One of them was also with iron. I somehow managed to defend myself and eventually managed to get up and escape."
The indictment against Berger Mehispin and Knafo of Beit Shean attributes to them offenses of sabotage with aggravated intent, assault causing actual injury and damage to property.
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Nazareth District Court. December 25, 2019 (Photo: Flash 90, David Cohen/Flash 90)
Attorney Nati Haim of Agmon & Tulchinsky law firm, who represents Shafi Hamoud as a crime victim, expressed hope after today's hearing that the suspects' detention would be extended until the end of the proceedings. "This is a very serious case of violence, in fact lynching by violent and extremist people," the lawyer argued, stressing, "Shafi is an exemplary citizen, a reservist, a contributor to the country who has suffered severely, both physically and emotionally since the incident. Shafi was never involved in a violent incident and it affected him and his family severely, from his day-to-day conduct to his ability to work and function. You have to remember that Shafi was just doing his job, the sole purpose of which is to keep visitors to Mount Meron safe."
Haim added that "people who beat a person, let alone for no reason, who kicked him in the head time after time, beat him with irons and used cold weapons, are only behind bars." Attorney Haim concluded, "We hope that these rioters will be punished at the end of the proceedings according to the full severity of the law, also so that these ugly cases will not change and a significant deterrent will be created."
Dr. Amir Hanifas, chairman of the Israeli-Druze Center, welcomed the judge's decision to extend the defendants' detention and demanded that the State Prosecutor's Office "do everything possible to bring the three other suspects into custody as soon as possible and bring them to justice. We will not relent until justice comes to light and the guilty receive their punishment for the sake of being seen and seen."
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