About a dozen teenagers assaulted a 40-year-old Arab man early Sunday morning on Tel Aviv's seaside promenade as he was on his way to work, fracturing his skull and severely beating his head. The victim, Hassan Usraf, told police the youths had yelled racial slurs before attacking.
Tel Aviv police deployed a search following the report of the attack on Herbert Samuel Street, which runs along the Mediterranean Sea in southern Tel Aviv, but have not yet arrested any suspects. Police were also investigating whether the assault was nationalistically motivated against the Arab man.
"I work as a street cleaner on the road from the Opera [Tower] toward Jaffa every night," Usraf told Israel Hayom, speaking about the attack at the hospital. "Yesterday, I got to work at four in the morning. I saw a bunch of kids sitting on a bench with bongs and alcohol. They looked a little bit intoxicated, and when I went to refill my machine with water they said, 'Hey, are you Arab? A stinking Arab? You took our whole country.'
"I tried to tell them, 'Arab, Israeli, we are the same thing,' and then they starting attacking me. They smashed a bottle over my head, kicked me, sliced me with shards of the broken bottle. I saw the whole world spinning around me. And then they fled."
Afterward, Usraf stumbled bleeding to a friend, who called a Magen David Adom ambulance. Paramedics rushed Usraf to Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, where he was treated for skull fractures and deep lacerations on his head. He will undergo eye surgery on Monday due to injuries he suffered in the assault.
"I don't understand why this happens," Usraf lamented. "I live here, I was born in Israel, I work with Jews and I have a lot of Jewish friends."