Eyewitnesses say Border Police officers attacked an Arab worker in central Tel Aviv after he allegedly refused to show them his identity card. Police: The suspect refused to identify himself and attacked the police officers, biting one of them.
An Arab employee of a supermarket located on the main thoroughfare of Ibn Gvirol Street, opposite Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square, was reportedly beaten by plainclothes Border Police officers on Sunday afternoon. According to several eyewitnesses, the motive behind the beating was the employee’s ethnicity.
While it is still unclear what exactly happened, we do have several eyewitnesses who posted statuses on Facebook, one of whom spoke to +972, as well as a report published by Israeli news sites, among them Walla! . According to these sources, an employee of Yuda Market, a mini-market, went out to dispose of some garbage, when he was approached by a plainclothes officer who, without identifying himself, demanded to see the man’s identity card. When the employee said his I.D. card was inside the store and asked the Border Police officer to identify himself, he and a friend began beating him. More officers and other citizens quickly joined in. The video published by Walla! shows there were numerous people involved in the assault.
This is an excerpt from the Facebook status of Erez Krispin, one of the eyewitnesses:
“His only sin was that he’s not a Jew,” said Kobi Cohen, the owner of the supermarket, to a reporter from Walla! News. +972 has tried to contact Cohen for comment but he has not yet responded.
Israel Police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld told +972:
The police response does not confirm or deny the fact that the man is, according to his employer, an Israeli citizen, a Bedouin from a Negev town. This would counter the claim that he was a Palestinian without a work permit Given the number of people seen in the video beating this one man, it is not surprising that some of the policemen were bruised in the fracas.
According to a local Palestinian media outlet, his name is Maysam Abu-Alqi’an. He was reportedly treated at Ichilov hospital, Sunday evening.
Joint List Chairman Ayman Odeh responded to the incident, saying that ”Instead of serving and protecting Arab citizens, the police presents a genuine danger to their safety.”
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