JERUSALEM, MAR. 6, 2001 (Zenit.org).- In an unprecedented move, the chief rabbi of Israel visited a hospitalized Palestinian laborer who survived a lynching attempt by an angry crowd that was trying to avenge a suicide bombing in which four people died.
On Sunday, Bassam Nasser, a Muslim, illegally entered Netanya, a coastal city between Tel Aviv and Haifa. The furious crowd noticed him when he went to the square facing the bus station where another Palestinian, a suicide terrorist, had carried out an attack which killed three others and injured scores.
The mob attacked and tried to lynch the defenseless Muslim, who was saved when police intervened.
Upon hearing the news, Chief Rabbi Meir Lau decided to visit the Palestinian, recovering from serious wounds in Tel Aviv´s Tell Hashomer Hospital.
At the end of his meeting with Nasser, the rabbi condemned the lynching attempt and said that what happened was “neither Jewish, nor human, nor moral.” Chief of State Moshe Katsav and Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon also harshly condemned the revenge attack.
The last five months of violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories have resulted in 423 dead, 347 of whom were Palestinians, 57 Israeli Jews, and 19 non-Jewish Israelis.