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2 Palestinians hospitalized after Jerusalem mob attack

July 27, 2014 6:11 P.M. (Updated: July 28, 2014 6:19 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- A Jewish mob attacked two young Palestinian men in East Jerusalem's Beit Hanina neighborhood late Friday, family members told Ma'an.

Amir Jalal Shweiki and Samir Mahfouz, both 20, were walking in the neighborhood near the Israeli settlement of Neve Yaakov when a Jewish settler approached them to ask for a lighter, family said.

When the settler was certain from their accent that Shweiki and Mahfouz were Palestinians, he signaled to eight other settlers nearby, who surrounded the two men and attacked them with batons, steel bars, and chains.

Shweiki fainted before the attackers left, while Mahfouz managed to call a friend who later arrived and called the police.

The victims sustained fractured bones and heavy bruises, and are still hospitalized in Hadassah Ein Kerem in West Jerusalem.

A spokeswoman for the hospital told AFP that one of the men was "in intensive care but conscious and doing well" while the other was in a surgical ward.

She did not identify them by name on grounds of medical confidentiality.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP that the men alleged they were attacked by Jewish Israelis.

"They gave official testimony that they were attacked by a number of people," he said."We're taking their claims very seriously.

"The investigation is continuing," he added. "We're still looking for suspects."

Cities across Israel have witnessed a string of attacks against Palestinians in recent months, amid heavy tensions leading up to the Israeli military assault of the Gaza Strip.

On Thursday, two Palestinians were beaten by a large mob on Jaffa street in West Jerusalem, and were subsequently arrested by a police for brandishing knives while they were beaten.

AFP contributed to this report.
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