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.”