JERUSALEM -- Israeli police have arrested seven teenagers in the brutal beating last week of a Palestinian youth in central Jerusalem.
Police say the attack was racially motivated. One of the arrested suspects expressed no regret after his arrival Monday at court.
"He could die for all I care," the young man was quoted as saying by Israeli media. "He cursed my mother. He can die."
Police say the Thursday night attack was carried out by scores of Jewish youths who reportedly chanted anti-Arab slogans as they roamed through a popular pedestrian thoroughfare. They descended on Jamal Julani, 17, and beat him into unconsciousness. After waking from a coma over the weekend, Julani is recovering in an Israeli hospital.
Scores of bystanders watched the attack in horror but did not intervene, police said. Some bystanders even harassed emergency responders as they worked to save Julani’s life, Israeli media reported.
Government officials and Israeli media expressed shock and outrage over the attack, vowing to prosecute those responsible.
Others said the attack reflected the worsening anger and intolerance between Israelis and Palestinians, particularly in Jerusalem, a city shared by 500,000 Jews and 284,000 Arabs.