OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Three youths were in custody over the savage beating of two Palestinians by a Jewish mob in the occupied east Jerusalem settlement of Neve Yaakov, Israeli police announced Wednesday.
"A Jerusalem court has to decide whether to extend the detention of the three Jewish men suspected of attacking two east Jerusalem residents on July 25," a statement said.
Amir Shweiki, 20, and Samer Mahfouz, also 20, were out walking last Friday evening when they were approached by a Jewish mob who asked them for cigarettes and then produced iron bars and began hitting them, one of the victims told newspaper Haaretz.
Both were taken to Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital, where Shweiki was treated in intensive care.
Haaretz newspaper quoted Mahfouz as saying he and Shweiki were assaulted by about 12 men.
"They had sticks and iron bars and they hit us over the head," he said.
Haaretz, which published photographs of the men's badly bruised faces, claimed police at the scene "did not call an ambulance," but police refuted the allegation, saying their help was refused.
Tensions between Palestinians and Israelis in annexed east Jerusalem plunged to a new low on July 2 when 16-year-old Mohammad Abu Khder was snatched from an east Jerusalem street and later found burned alive.
Police arrested six alleged Jewish extremists as suspects and on July 17 charged three, freeing the others.
In addition there have been violent Palestinian protests in and around the city as the toll of dead in Israel's Gaza Strip offensive rises daily.