‘Jewish blood is cheap’ – Arab who nearly killed victim released to house arrest

Arab man accused of nearly killing Jewish victim during antisemitic rioting released to house arrest after spending just three months in jail.

By Adina Katz, World Israel News

An Arab man who is suspected of attempting to murder a Jewish man and setting Jewish businesses ablaze in the northern Israel city of Akko during last year’s Israel-Gaza clash was released to house arrest by a local judge, to the outrage of the victim of the brutal attack.

The suspect was arrested in June 2022, slightly more than a year after the widespread rioting in mixed Arab-Jewish municipalities that took place during Operation Guardian of the Walls.

Along with a group of other men, Rani Firan is believed to have targeted Mor Janashvili, a Jewish resident of Akko, and launched an unprovoked violent attack against him.

Janashvili was nearly killed during the attack, suffering serious injuries that left him wheelchair-bound for months.

In a ruling on Monday, Haifa District Court Judge Nitzan Silman turned down a request from prosecutors to keep the suspected terrorist behind bars until the end of his trial.

Silman said that Firan is no longer a threat to society, but rather a “medium risk,” and that his extreme views had softened. “There has been a positive change in his behavior” since he married and his first child was born during his incarceration, the judge said.

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Firan, who was locked up for some three months, even “expressed that he was struggling emotionally” with the experience of being jailed, Silman noted.

“It is impossible to avoid giving substantial weight to the fact that these are events that took place over a year ago,” wrote Silman. “This should show that even if there was a danger from the defendant, it has faded with the calming of tensions.”

Janashvili expressed outrage about the ruling.

“I am very upset and angry. Jewish blood is cheap,” he said in a video statement to Hebrew-language media. “Where are my rights as a Jewish citizen who was wounded here?”

He added that “it’s time for the courts to wake up and realize that Jewish blood has value. I do not accept [this ruling], and I call for the prosecution to appeal the decision, and I will fight for them to do so.”

Attorney Haim Blecher of the Zionist NGO Honenu, who is representing Janashvili, said in a statement that “releasing a terrorist who carried out a severe lynching and burned Jewish shops and businesses only happens in a place where life has no value.”

Blecher added that “the court must come to its senses and keep these antisemitic terrorists away from society, preventing the possibility of repeating their murderous acts.”