(JTA) — Six Arab residents of Haifa were indicted in an attack on two off-duty Israeli soldiers in the city.
The Haifa District Court judge who presided over Thursday’s hearing said the attack on Shnir Dahan and Roie Sharaff did not appear to be motivated by nationalism, The Jerusalem Post reported.
Indictments were served against Marwan Attaleh, 25; Hafez Kais, 54; and four minors for allegedly beating the soldiers with iron bars, sticks and stones in the early morning of Feb. 26.
A rock-throwing incident targeting the house of one of the minors, where there was a party in progress, preceded the attack, according to the indictment. The alleged attackers and others assembled and went out to find those responsible for the stone throwing, came across the two soldiers and attacked them after cursing at them in Arabic. Two of the attackers allegedly used a sharp tool to try to carve a word into Sharaff’s scalp.
Dahan and Sharaff were hospitalized for several days.
"Allegedly, and without prejudice to the severity of the violence described in the testimonies, the incident was not nationalist but was a violent event [perpetrated] for other reasons," Judge Ron Shapira said.
The judge noted that one of the defendants testified that the alleged attackers were not sure whether they were looking for Jews or Christians.
Regarding evidence that the defendants had discussed finding "the Jews,” Shapira said it appeared to be "a way of identifying those people whom they were looking to harm rather than as a nationalist feature."