Israeli President Shimon Peres spoke out strongly against racism Wednesday, nearly a week after Jewish teenagers beat unconscious a Palestinian in Jerusalem, DPA reported.
"The incident in Jerusalem is a failure for us all," Peres told an education conference near Tel Aviv.
Jamal Julani, 17, was attacked the evening of August 16 in a central Jerusalem square by about 10 Jewish youths. Hit near the heart, he was taken to hospital in critical condition.
Witnesses said a Jewish mob at the square chanted racist slogans.
Israeli media have expressed outrage at the act and called it a "lynch."
It has underlined the tensions between Jerusalem's Jewish and Arab population.
A Jewish medical student provided first aid and resuscitated Julani, a resident of occupied East Jerusalem. The student told reporters he restored the victim's pulse twice, and denied charges that dozens of onlookers did nothing, saying others also helped.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said eight suspects have been arrested, a 19-year-old and seven minors aged 13-17, two of them girls.
"Slowly, slowly we are getting to the people who were involved," he told dpa Wednesday. "One suspect leads to another."
One suspect, a 14-year-old boy, has admitted he kicked Julani, but "only once," along with many others.
"Yes I was involved because he cursed my mother," he told reporters at Jerusalem's Magistrates Court Monday.
"He got hit. Let him get hit until the end. For my part, he can die. He deserves it.
"He's an Arab. If you (a Jew) walk past Damascus Gate, won't you get stabbed?" he said, covering his face as he referred to the main gate into the Arab Quarter of Jerusalem's walled Old City.
Julani awoke from an induced coma Saturday and told reporters he remembered nothing of the attack.
"They told me that a couple of Jews beat me again and again," he said from his hospital bed.
A hospital spokeswoman said his condition had improved and he was transferred from intensive care Sunday.
Police said no suspects had yet been arrested in another case of suspected Jewish violence, also August 16, on the West Bank south of Jerusalem.
Unknown assailants threw a firebomb at a Palestinian taxi. Five members of one family, including three children, and the driver suffered serious burns.
Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon has also denounced both attacks as "intolerable" hate crimes and "terrorist acts which contravene Jewish values" that deserved the harshest response.
Peres said that a survey indicating that many Jewish students prefer not to live next to Arabs "reflects negatively on our values of tolerance and love for others."
"We must teach values which have been forgotten a little," he said, according to a transcript from his office.