An Arab resident of the “Triangle” region was indicted Thursday in Lod District Court on suspicion of helping a mob attempt to lynch a Jewish man during a riot.
That riot and other Arab disturbances began November 9 after Kafr Kanna resident Kheir a-Din Hamdan was killed by police the night before after he tried to attack officers in a van.
On Thursday, 21-year-old Mohamed Haj Yehiyeh, was charged with aggravated assault, vandalism and mayhem. He is accused of having lit a package of fireworks and throwing them into a car with someone still inside, and having lit a second package of fireworks and throwing it at a police cruiser. He was arrested a month ago by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and the Central District Police.
Haj-Yehiyeh was accused of leading a mob who stopped 47-year-old Moshe German as he was traveling along Highway 444 northbound from Kochav Yair, on the road in Taibe. In order to avoid burning his tires, the driver tried to turn his car around in the street, but was surrounded by the rioters who started speaking Arabic.
When it became clear he could not understand them, they began yelling, “Jew! Jew! Jew!” and hurled rocks at him and the vehicle, smashed both the front and rear windshields.
The court papers say Haj-Yehiyeh lit a package of fireworks and tossed them into the car while German was still trapped inside, igniting the vehicle as well. The targeted driver was saved by Majdi Baloum, a local Taibe man who fought his way through the mob to rescue him, placing German in his car with his own children and driving to a nearby police station – endangering his own family and saving the motorist’s life.
German’s car, meanwhile, became engulfed in flames, after the gasoline in the vehicle was ignited, incinerating it completely.
During the probe investigators discovered a video clip showing Haj-Yehiyeh speaking into the camera, calling for an intifada and making other nationalist statements.
That video was released by Central District Police on Thursday.
“People of the Triangle, today it was Kafr Kanna, tomorrow in Taibe, and Umm al Fahm,” Haj-Yehiyeh proclaimed.
“Intifada, intifada! Anyone who can, carry out an intifada in their own way. God willing, the blood of Kheir of a-Din Hamdan won’t be spilled in vain.
“God is greater than the Zionists! Allahhu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!”
Haj-Yehiyeh was arraigned in Lod District Court and an indictment was issued Thursday in the wake of a confession, police said.
Further arrests are expected in the case, police said.
Hana Levi Julian