Last updated: 23 August, 2012

Palestinian victim of hate attack leaves hospital

The Palestinian victim of a hate attack in Jerusalem last week was released from hospital on Thursday, as Israeli police carried on a probe into the violence which nearly cost the teenager’s life.

A spokeswoman for Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital told AFP that Jamal Julani, 17, was released since his condition was satisfactory.

Julani and three cousins, residents of Israeli-annexed Arab east Jerusalem, were attacked by dozens of Israeli youths early last Friday in Zion Square in Jerusalem’s busy bar and entertainment district.

Press reports said hundreds of onlookers failed to intervene. After the attack, Julani was rushed unconscious to hospital.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP that eight suspects have so far been detained, seven aged between 13 and 17 and one 19-year-old.

One of two female suspects has been released to be kept under home arrest, while the others remain in custody as the police investigation continues, Rosenfeld said.

“Further arrests will be made,” he added.

Prior to leaving hospital, Julani was visited by Israel’s parliamentary speaker Reuven Rivlin, who apologised for the unchecked racial violence in Israel.

“I came in the name of the state of Israel to apologise and express my anger over what happened,” he said.

“This evil comes from insufficient education. Unfortunately, more and more youth think that hate and racial violence are permissible,” said Rivlin.

“Up until today, we looked the other way, we said it’s marginal youth, it will pass, we paid lip service. But it is time to stop blurring things,” his office quoted him as saying.

“The writing was on the wall for a long time and the letters are aflame with fire that can burn us all. We — the government, Knesset (parliament), the education system — are responsible,” said Rivlin.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the attack as a combination of “racism and violence” which the Jewish state would not tolerate.

President Shimon Peres said he was “full of shame” over the incident, and Education Minister Gideon Saar ordered that classes and discussions on the attack be held in schools next week.