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Mob of Jewish extremists beat Palestinians in Jerusalem

Image of Israeli police arresting activists during a protest against Israeli polices on 24 May 2017 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]
Israeli forces arrest activists during a protest against Israeli police on 24 May 2017 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

A video was released on Thursday showing dozens of far-right Israelis attacking three Palestinians in Jerusalem a week ago, as Israeli police reportedly failed to respond and prevent the assault, Maan News reports.

Israeli daily Haaretz obtained the video, where some 30 members of the Jewish extremist group Lehava are shown purpotedly assaulting three Palestinians during a march organized by the group in downtown Jerusalem last Thursday.

At one point in the shaky video, the Palestinians, who are reportedly all residents of occupied East Jerusalem, run into an Israeli police officer, who blocked the group of Israelis from approaching the Palestinians, and told the Jewish youths to leave. The youths refused and continued to hurl insults at the Palestinians.The video then cuts to the Jewish youths chasing the Palestinians down a street in Jerusalem.

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Haaretz reported that a witness said that the police officer eventually stopped trying to deter the assault, leaving the Palestinians to fend for themselves.

"The officer asked for our I.D. cards, but he didn't help us or do anything, they continued to beat us right next to the cop. So we fled," Majdi Abu Taya, 19, from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan told Haaretz. Other witnesses told Haaretz that the police did not even attempt to prevent the assault, and refused to call in backup.

When the Palestinians fled the scene, the mob of Jewish youths followed them. Abu Taya was beaten by the Israelis when attempting to flee, according to Haaretz, while the two others were able to hide in a construction site and pelt rocks at the Jewish youths in an attempt to push them out of the area.

Read: Jewish settlers burn Palestinian crops in occupied West Bank

Haaretz also reported that while Israeli police had said they would open up an investigation into the incident, when a high school student who had witnessed the assault attempted to file a complaint, he was told that they had no record of such an incident occurring.

Another anonymous witness told Haaretz that it was not the first time he had seen Israeli extremists assaulting Palestinians, saying that "It's systematic. They engage in provocations to get the victims to react, and then they'll say it's self-defense."

According to Haaretz, one of the Palestinians was hospitalized with mild injuries from the incident.An Israeli police spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

Haaretz added that while most members of Lehava "merely hand out promotional material" during their marches, "others actively look for Palestinians and try to attack them.""Despite this, there have been almost no police investigations, much less indictments, on account of such mob attacks in recent years."

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