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Young man assaulted and injured on a Jerusalem bus for being gay

Young man assaulted and injured on a Jerusalem bus for being gay

A young gay man was attacked on a Jerusalem night bus, receiving facial injuries.

The youth in his early twenties went out with friends in Jerusalem, Israel’s capital and making their way back home return on a night bus.

The youth, who prefers to remain unnamed, recounted to daily Yediot Yerushalaim: ‘Three friends and I got on and sat at the back of the bus chatting.

‘Suddenly two twenty year old guys gave me a hateful look, one asking another: “is this a boy or a girl?”, answering he’s neither, and remarked: “I’m going to beat him up and bury him”.

‘They started being abusive, and one of their girlfriends joined in and they continued with their abuse and threats.

‘My friends tried to protect me and received threats.

‘The minute we stepped off the bus, the same man that threatened me followed, approached and punched me.

‘All my face was swollen and I was bleeding.

‘Before the doors slammed shut he jumped back into the bus.

‘They weren’t drunk but they had a hateful look.

‘The bus was crowded with passengers, and during the incident, which lasted half an hour, none of the passengers, including the driver or the security officer, intervened’, he recounted.

According to him, after he descended bleeding from the bus, he called the police; ‘The police vehicle arrived within a few minutes. I told the police officers the details of the incident and they replied that I should file for a complaint’.

‘The police informed me that when the bus pulled into its last station, officers boarded the bus but could not find the attacker.

‘I learned later that the bus has a security camera so I [later] filed a complaint and asked the police if the incident was documented’.

He recounted: ‘I’ve done nothing wrong, it’s only due to my looks. I feel as if I carry a yellow badge.

‘I don’t feel safe leaving my home without friends.

‘It’s not the first time that I have been attacked because I’m gay.

‘Its absurd that due to my sexual orientation and how I look I need to fear walking around in the city where I was raised’.

After the incident the youth contacted Daniel Jonas, the director of Havruta, the gay religious Jewish organization who helped him coping with what happened.

The youth knew Jonas when he joined Havruta a year ago.

Jonas said: ‘This isn’t the first time that such an event happens.

‘It is important to be informed about such ugly occurrences and we will take any measures possible that they will disappear.

‘We are considering a formal complained against Eged (the national bus carrier of Israel), as it is not possible that such an incident happens when there is a driver and a security officer which are supposed to look after passengers’ safety’.

The district police has confirmed a complaint has been filed and that it has commenced an investigation.

Eged stated: ‘From time to time there are problems of violence on buses.

‘For this reason the ministry of transport has instructed to us to place security officers on our nightly service so that they protect the public.

‘We are unfamiliar with the incident, but if the youth was aggressed, all he needed to do is to get up and sit next to the security officer.

‘It is also right and proper that the same guy that was allegedly attacked, aside from complaining to the police, should have raised a complaint with Eged, and we would have instructed, without interfering with police investigation, to guide our security personnel to be more assertive’.