Netanyahu, Peres condemn lynch incident

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the attack by Jewish teens on three Palestinians in the center of Jerusalem.

“In the state of Israel, we are not prepared to tolerate racism; neither are we prepared to tolerate the combination of racism and violence,” Netanyahu said Tuesday as he signed signed a document to encourage the absorption and integration of Ethiopian Jews in Israeli society and economy, and to prevent discrimination and racism.

Netanyahu said he was following the medical progress of the victims of the Aug. 16 assault.

“This is something that we cannot accept – not as Jews, not as Israelis. This is not our way; this goes against our way, and we condemn it in word and deed. We will quickly bring to justice those responsible for this reprehensible incident,” he said. “We will be persistent in our complete opposition to racism and violence.”

Also Tuesday, Israeli President Shimon Peres said during a visit to an Israeli-Arab town in the northern Galilee that he was “ashamed” by the attack.  He called for new efforts to be made to bring Arab and Jewish youth together.

Hundreds of people, including a police officer, watched the Aug. 16 assault but did not intervene, according to reports. Some two dozen Jewish teens were involved in the attack, egged on by a female Jewish teen, police said.

Nine Jewish teens have been arrested so far in the incident.

The attack has been condemned by Arab and Jewish organizations in Israel and around the world.

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