Five arrested in northern Israel for attempted lynch of Jew

Mor Janashvili barely escaped with his life after being attacked by Arabs in Akko during Operation Guardian of the Walls.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The Israel Security Agency (aka Shabak or Shin Bet) recently arrested five Arabs for attempting to lynch a Jew in Akko during the Arab riots that rocked mixed cities in Israel during Operation Guardian of the Walls in May 2021, the internal security agency announced Wednesday.

The five men, Rani Piran, Muhammad Hamad, Ayman Zalfi, Hissam Awad, and Salah Majeg, ranging in age from 25 to 31, are all residents of Akko (Acre). They join two Arabs from the same city, Kosai Abbas and Adham Bashir, who were arrested very soon after the May 12 attack on Mor Janashvilli, along with another, Muhammad Hamed, who was caught this past July. All are being charged with committing a terrorist act with a nationalist motive, among other charges.

Janashvili was lucky to escape with his life. While driving his car, which had a small Israeli flag on it, Arabs blocked the street, screaming “Yahud, Yahud (Jew, Jew).” The assailants then managed to open the door and pull him out when he crashed the car into a wall trying to get away. The mob then began beating him with rocks, wooden planks and metal bars while the car was completely torched.

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In fact, it was Fadi Kasem, a nurse in the Internal Medicine Department at the Galilee medical Center, who saved the victim’s life., ISRAEL21c reported at the time. “As soon as we arrived, I saw [Janashvili] lying on the floor. The only thing that stood before my eyes was to save him. I didn’t think about whether he was Jewish or Arab,” Kasem said.

Janashvili was taken to a hospital in moderate condition, with broken bones, hemorrhaging and three-disc herniations. He has since mostly recovered physically, but not psychologically.

He told Reshet Bet radio that news of the recent arrests has strengthened him; 16 months since the attack, he is still undergoing rehabilitation.

He added that his sense of security has returned. But he warned that the courts are not internalizing the seriousness of the incidents that occurred, adding that he sees in as his obligation to go to court to demand a severe sentence for his attackers.

Janashvili had last spoken to the media in July, after Channel 14 reported Hamed’s arrest.  “To this day, I’m still experiencing the event,” he said. “I haven’t moved on yet.”

That same month, he also commented on the newly published State Comptroller’s report criticizing the police and other authorities for their deficiencies during the riots that took place in Lod, Ramle, Jaffa, Haifa and Jerusalem as well as Akko. Three Jews were killed and dozens besides Janashvilli were injured in the violence.

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In an interview on Channel 11, Janashvilli expressed doubt that the situation will improve as a result of the report.

“The report that has just come out will stay in a drawer,” he said. “I found out that there was a small police force on the street next to where I was attacked, without any [anti-riot] means. There’s no security.  We need to open a commission of inquiry into the fact that the police were helpless. It does not make sense that we will be murdered and the police will not respond.”