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September 17, 2014 / 22 Elul, 5774
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Three Detained 12-13 Year-Olds Deny Firebombing Arab Taxi

Two of the three young boys from Bat Ayin suspected of an August 16 firebombing of an Arab taxi being led to a hearing at the Magistrates court in Jerusalem on Sunday.

Two of the three young boys from Bat Ayin suspected of an August 16 firebombing of an Arab taxi being led to a hearing at the Magistrates court in Jerusalem on Sunday.
Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Three young residents of the Gush Etzion community of Bat Ayin, aged 12-13, were on Sunday on suspicion of involvement with the Molotov cocktail incident that took place a week and a half ago, Honenu reports.

On Thursday, August 16, a fire bomb was thrown at an Arab taxi on Route 60 in Gush Etzion, between K’far Etzion and several hilltop communities. The taxi caught fire and went up in flames. The injured passengers were evacuated to a hospital.

On Sunday, one of the three youths was detained in his home in Bat Ayin and the other two in Jerusalem, at the yeshiva they attend. The three detainees were taken to the Central Unit of Judea and Samaria police station in Ma’ale Adumim, where they were interrogated about their suspected involvement with the firebombing.

On the night following the firebombing incident, GSS agents and Yassam (Special Unit) Police forces raided the homes of several youths in Bat Ayin and spoke to them, warning them regarding fire bombs and other illegal activities. No-one was detained that night.

Last week, an additional youth, also a resident of Bat Ayin, was detained on suspicion of involvement with the fire bombing, but the police, who at the time told his parents as much, now deny that that was the reason for his detention. The youth himself said that he was interrogated regarding the firebombing. The youth was held for several hours of interrogation and then unconditionally released.

Jewish residents of the Gush Etzion region noted that rocks and firebombs are frequently thrown at Jewish cars in the area in which the firebomb was thrown. “The determination that Jews threw the firebomb is hasty and most irresponsible,” say residents of the area.

The three detainees are currently being brought before the Jerusalem Magistrate Court. The police are demanding a remand extension in order to continue the interrogation. Honenu attorney David HaLevi is representing the youths.

Honenu’s response to the allegation was: “During the past few months we have been witness to dozens of detentions and interrogations which, though they made big headlines, did not result in arrests. In the course of many of the detentions and interrogations the rights of the detainees, many of whom were minors, were violated. We hope that the police will be able this time to maintain the rights of the detainees, especially considering the fact that they are young minors. We estimate that this time, too, the incidents will conclude with no arrests.”

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2 Responses to “Three Detained 12-13 Year-Olds Deny Firebombing Arab Taxi”

  1. Shlomo Vile says:

    This is an example of how the media lynches, in this case, a whole community. There've been multiple attacks against Jews on these roads, but this time an Arab car got attacked and so the The Prime Minister and the President of the United States found it necessary to issue strong statements of condemnation. There are several communities closer to the attack site than Bat Ayin, but Bat Ayin already has a reputation in the media, so the media focused on Bat Ayin as the source of the attack.

    The security establishment came under heat to find a culprit, and they found it convenient to settle on the target that the media had already identified. So last week, there were multiple 3AM visits from the police to various homes here, and after another week with no arrests, the pressure on the security establishment to arrest somebody apparently built to the point that they arrested these 12-13 kids.

    These kids are the real cream of the community, by the way. They're the ones who are the first to volunteer for various community service projects, and who don't get involved in smoking, drugs, girls, or the other distractions of youth. But they also have the distinction of being involved in activities that the state finds subversive, so the police arrested them. But it's the media who started the lynch. particularly the Jewish media.

    For example the Jerusalem Post posted an online article with the headline "Relatives of Bat Ayin victims: Israel denying us access." The article opened with a picture of one of the burn victims in the hospital, with his burnt and disfiigured face. In response to threats of a libel suit from our community, the Post changed the headline to "Relatives of firebomb victims: Israel denying us access." But the damage was already done. Even now, if you Google "Bat Ayin victims," this is the article that comes up.

    Such is how things operate here, unfortunately.

    Shlomo Vile, Bat Ayin.

  2. Cathy Sherman says:

    I'm so tired of the media acting as judge and jury. The way the press has written up this event, it's so obvious they want to demonize settlers, but by extension, they demonize Israel. The Washington Post picked up the story complete with the insinuations which paraded as facts. The truth is the goal, not demonization. If Jewish youths did indeed commit this violence, they should pay the price after a fair trial. But without a completed investigation, no one knows the facts, so judgement should be withheld. The world is watching and all too happy to see Israel shamed. It would be nice if the local media respected this.

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