Shufersal Torture Suspects to Be Released to House Arrest

A worker carries boxes outside a Shufersal supermarket in Yerushalayim. (Flash 90)

After a fourth individual was arrested Thursday in connection with the Shufersal torture case, a Yerushalayim court on Thursday decided to release all the suspects to house arrest. They will remain in that status until Monday, when the court will again take up their case.

Itamar Ben-Gvir, the attorney for the chareidi youth who was seen in a shocking video being literally tortured by an Arab worker, said that the decision was “shocking and pathetic. Imagine if things were the other way around, and it was a developmentally disabled Arab who was tortured by Jews.”

Three Arabs, all residents of Yerushalayim, have been arrested in connection with the case, along with a Jewish manager who was aware of the situation. Criminal charges were filed against all four in the wake of the release of video showing the torture of the developmentally disabled worker on social media. The video shows an Arab worker slapping the young chareidi man, whose hands are tied up in plastic. The Arab is seen saying things that he forces his victim to repeat – and slaps him in the face each time he does. The shocking scene goes on for about a minute.

Reports Wednesday said that other videos showing this same individual being tortured in a similar manner have surfaced. In an interview with Channel 20, the youth’s parents said that their son was incapable of complaining about the treatment he received, although he did try to alert managers that something made him feel uncomfortable.

“He never told us about this, and when he came home looking upset, I thought it was because they had given him hard work to do,” the father said.

“I also have discovered that the cameras in the warehouse where he worked were not operating, so all the footage of these incidents were filmed by Arabs, obviously for their own enjoyment,” he said. The parents noted that no one from Shufersal had called to apologize or even contacted them about the incident.

The release to house arrest came after a recommendation by prosecutors for that step to be taken. The suspects are to be confined to home, and are not allowed to approach the Shufersal branch in Gush Etzion, where they all work. Police recommended to the court that the suspects be held until the end of proceedings against them.

Ben-Gvir slammed prosecutors, saying that “they have given a green light to torturers and sadists of all kinds. This is a spit in the face of disabled individuals who cannot defend themselves. The prosecution’s message is that anything is allowed, and there will be no price to pay. I will not remain quiet about this and I will take every legal step at my disposal against Shufersal and the suspects, who will now go home to their villages as big heroes.”

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