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Police probe Israeli soccer mob's anti-Arab outburst

Israeli police to investigate football fan harassment of Arabs after the latter refuse filing complaints

Reuters , Sunday 25 Mar 2012
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Israeli police have opened an investigation into the actions of soccer fans who chanted racist slogans and reportedly spat at Arabs after a match last week, they said on Sunday.

Flush with victory after their team won a match, hundreds of supporters of Israel's Beitar Jerusalem poured into a shopping mall near the club's stadium to sing, dance and chant "Death to Arabs".

News of the incident, which occurred on Monday, began to emerge in the Israeli media only on Friday, along with a YouTube video of the frenzy and reports that some of the fans spat at Arab women and children in the food court and attacked Arab workers who came to their aid.

No arrests were made at the time, police said, because none of the Arabs would file a complaint when officers arrived to restore order in the Malha mall.

Faced with mounting public criticism for failing to take anyone into custody, police announced on Sunday they had opened an investigation and would examine closed-circuit TV footage to try to see if anyone was attacked.

Beitar Jerusalem fans are notorious in Israel for their anti-Arab leanings and racist insults hurled at Arab players on opposing teams. 

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