JERUSALEM (JTA) – Seven Israeli Arabs were arrested in an attack on two off-duty Israeli soldiers in Haifa.
The soldiers, who were in civilian clothing, were attacked last Friday night outside Rambam Medical Center. A group of Israeli-Arab men first asked if the soldiers were Jewish, according to reports, before assaulting them with rocks, metal bars and planks of wood.
The words "you dog" and "PLO" in Hebrew letters reportedly were carved into the head of one of the soldiers.
Six of the assailants were ordered held in jail for five days Sunday by the Haifa Magistrates’ Court. A seventh suspect was arrested Sunday.
The suspects reportedly said they were not targeting Jews but were looking to exact revenge on those who threw rocks at their home. They said the attack was a case of mistaken identity. The soldiers, who remain hospitalized, maintain that the attack was nationalistic in nature.