A Jewish Israeli man was sentenced on Monday to three years and two months in prison for his role in a mob attack by an Arab man last year during a wave of intense intersectarian violence in the country.
Nisim Azule, 29, of Petah Tikva, was convicted of attacking and vandalizing a vehicle with racist intent, during an incident outside the Sidna Ali Mosque in Herzliya in May 2021.
According to police, at least 15 people participated in the May 12, 2021 attack on Ghassan Haj Yahya, an Arab from Taibei who was eating a fast-breaking Ramadan meal in his car outside the Sidna Ali Mosque in Herzliya . As Jewish-Arab ethnically motivated violence was tearing through the country, especially in mixed cities, against the backdrop of the Gaza War between Israel and Hamas.
The suspects shouted, “Arab!” before getting onto Yahya’s vehicle. The indictment said. At one point, one suspect hit Yahya on the head with a rock, while another suspect sprayed pepper spray on his face.
Azule was accused of throwing a bottle at Yahya’s vehicle, while others threw stones at the victim and his vehicle. According to the indictment, Azule was actively involved in a deliberate and racially motivated attack.
Prosecutors claimed throughout the case that Azule, who has previously served two prison sentences of one and two years respectively, intended to seek and confront Arab individuals during the evening of the attack.
Sidna Ali Mosque – Sidna Ali Mosque (Arabic: مسجد سيدنا لي, Masjid Sidna Ali; Hebrew: , Misg. pic.twitter.com/GcAFwrDWQw
— Dr. Vicentenario (@DrBicentenario) August 19, 2015
Yahya told his assailants on the Ynet news site after the attack, “They had murder in their eyes. They were looking for someone to murder, no matter what I did or not.”
“I was sure I was a dead man. The attackers broke the window of the car… They wanted to kill me and kept saying I was an Arab. I was horrified and in shock.”
Yahya required hospitalization due to injuries sustained in the attack.
“The plaintiff, a 60-year-old man, was trapped alone in his car, unable to escape, as the defendant and a group of 20 people surrounded him like a herd of wolves,” the judge wrote in his ruling.
“Without being reduced to other incidents, I believe that attacking a person on the street, where he can escape and defend himself, is not the same as attacking a person trapped inside his parked vehicle. One group of youth attackers attack another group of young persons, which is not the same as a group of youths attacking a 60-year-old man, who cannot be heard even when shouting and shouting,” the judge said. .
lynch in small@ran_shimoni ,
The Tel Aviv district court today sentenced Nissim Azulai to 38 months in prison, who participated in the lynching of a 60-year-old Muslim in Herzliya during Operation Guard of the Wall.
— rave ️ radio (@_RayV_) 11 July 2022
A second man, Yaakov Attenau, was sentenced in May to five years for participating in the same attack. He was also ordered by the Tel Aviv District Court to pay Yahya NIS 5,000 compensation.
A total of six people have been named in the incident.
Hundreds of indictments have been filed against most Arabs, but some Jews too, during the days of the riots in which mobs everywhere attacked members of the opposite ethnicity, in a rush of violence that had not been seen in decades. Tensions were partly fueled by Israel’s conflict with Gaza-based militants and violent Palestinian protests in Jerusalem.