Arab-Israeli gang arrested for enslaving, imprisoning homeless man in dog cage

After the victim refused to continue working for no pay, the gang kidnapped the man and locked him in a dog cage for a number of days.

By Adina Katz, World Israel News

Five members of an Arab Israeli street gang in northern Israel are facing charges for forcing a homeless man to perform manual labor for them, then beating and torturing him when he refused to continue working without pay.

The suspects, Jalal Tabrani, 31, Jihad Bedawi, 26, Hazem Naser, 24, Jaleb Aswad, 28, and Ahmed Khatib, 30, are all residents of Akko and a neighboring Arab town.

They are believed to have forced a local homeless man to clean horse stables controlled by the gang for a period of some 18 months, without paying him for his labor. The men threatened to violently assault the victim should he stop working for them.

According to a copy of the indictment obtained by the Walla news outlet, the homeless man eventually refused to continue working for the gang.

The suspects subsequently kidnapped the man and locked him in a dog cage for a number of days after he did not come to the stable.

While the victim was imprisoned in the cage, the gang beat him with shovels and sticks, then left him in the enclosure with a dog that repeatedly bit him.

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The homeless man suffered from wounds and bruising all over his body, police said.

The five suspects in the assault of the man were arrested last month, but a gag order on reporting about the case was lifted on Wednesday.

All of the suspects are reportedly part of an organized Arab-Israeli crime gang, which was under investigation by Israel’s Tax Authority for money laundering and tax crimes. An additional seven members of the gang have been arrested for those offenses.

Akko, a mixed Arab-Jewish city, saw widespread violent rioting during May 2021’s Operation Guardian of the Walls Israel-Gaza clash.

Arab rioters destroyed businesses throughout the city, torching a hotel. A prominent Israeli astrophysicist in his 80s was killed in the blaze.

Earlier in 2022, a video of an Arab gang from Akko rampaging through a local kibbutz went viral on TikTok.

One of the men in the clip was later arrested for murdering his Jewish ex- girlfriend, with whom he had two children.