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Palestinian Nearly Lynched by Jewish Mob

Palestinian Salah Bassam on a hospital stretcher after being beaten unconscious by a Jewish mob

A Palestinian worker, Salah Bassam, was severely beaten by an angry mob of Israelis near the market in Netanya March 4, 2001 and was taken to Tel Hashomer hospital where he is being treated for serious head injuries. Latest reports say that he is awake and breathing without assistance.

Bassam was initially taken to the Laniado hospital in Netanya, where the doctor who admitted him said that he was brought in unconscious and almost without a pulse. "He required immediate assistance to breathe. He was lucky that the policemen who got him out of the market put him in the patrol car and brought him here immediately," said Dr. Avinoam Skolnick.

Once Bassam was revived, he was examined and found to have suffered serious trauma to the head. The decision was then taken to transfer him to Tel Hashomer hospital for treatment. However, following a C.T. scan, he was found not to have suffered neurological damage or internal bleeding, and most of his injuries were identified as external.

Bassam was attacked at the Old Market in Netanya, near the area where a suicide bomber killed three Israelis and injured scores of others. A shop keeper explained that he saw Bassam running immediately after the blast and then bystanders began chasing him. "Look, an Arab is running after a blast," he added, "should we not chase him?"

"I did not see him get beaten. I saw him fall and hurt his head. The whole story about the Arabs is the fault of the police and the Municipal Authority. They need to fine whomever hires Arabs, and the problem [would be] finished," he said.

Another salesman claimed, "I saw an 80-year-old lady kicking the Arab in the head."

The head of the Market Council, Pini Bukra, said that he issued an order two days ago not to employ Palestinians. "The problem is enforcement. Even if you want to complain to the Netanya police, they are not willing to come and arrest Arabs. They ask you to show up at the station," he said.

Bukra said that he did not witness the beating of Bassam, "but if I were there, I would have added a kick myself."

Source: Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz March 5, 2001

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