Jerusalem police arrest 16 football fans over racist attack

Updated: 30 March 2012 08:32 IST

Israeli police have arrested 16 suspects in connection with a racist attack by Jewish football fans on Arab cleaners at Jerusalem's main shopping centre, a spokesman said on Friday.

Jerusalem:

Israeli police have arrested 16 suspects in connection with a racist attack by Jewish football fans on Arab cleaners at Jerusalem's main shopping centre, a spokesman said on Friday.

"Israeli police have until now arrested 16 suspects based on CCTV footage," Micky Rosenfeld told AFP.

"All of the suspects (were arrested) in connection with racial incitement."

He said 10 of them had been questioned and released pending the outcome of the investigation. The other six would appear before Jerusalem magistrates later on Thursday and police would ask they be remanded in custody.

The incident occurred on March 19 when Beitar Jerusalem fans flooded out of Teddy Stadium into the nearby Malcha mall and assaulted Arab employees, chanting "death to Arabs," according to media reports.

The first reports emerged only four days later in the left-leaning Haaretz newspaper, which said "hundreds" of fans were involved.

According to Haaretz, the fans spat on several Arab women sitting with their children and when Arab employees at the mall tried to intervene, they were assaulted.

Fans of Beitar Jerusalem, which has never had an Arab player, have long been associated with anti-Arab racism, and the team has been punished in the past for the behaviour of its supporters.Israeli police have arrested 16 suspects in connection with a racist attack by Jewish football fans on Arab cleaners at Jerusalem's main shopping centre, a spokesman said on Friday.

"Israeli police have until now arrested 16 suspects based on CCTV footage," Micky Rosenfeld told AFP.

"All of the suspects (were arrested) in connection with racial incitement."

He said 10 of them had been questioned and released pending the outcome of the investigation. The other six would appear before Jerusalem magistrates later on Thursday and police would ask they be remanded in custody.

The incident occurred on March 19 when Beitar Jerusalem fans flooded out of Teddy Stadium into the nearby Malcha mall and assaulted Arab employees, chanting "death to Arabs," according to media reports.

The first reports emerged only four days later in the left-leaning Haaretz newspaper, which said "hundreds" of fans were involved.

According to Haaretz, the fans spat on several Arab women sitting with their children and when Arab employees at the mall tried to intervene, they were assaulted.

Fans of Beitar Jerusalem, which has never had an Arab player, have long been associated with anti-Arab racism, and the team has been punished in the past for the behaviour of its supporters.

Topics : Football
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