Nine Israeli Jews were arrested by security forces overnight in two small Jewish communities, Adei Ad and Givat HaBladim, as Israel continues its hunt for the terrorists responsible for the attack on Duma 10 days ago.
The tiny communities are nestled in the hills of Samaria near Shiloh and Kochav HaShachar respectively. The Honenu civil rights legal organization is working to determine the reason behind the overnight raids in these specific villages.
The arrests follow the widening dragnet in the hunt for the terrorists who firebombed a home in the Palestinian Authority village of Duma, near Shechem ten days ago. Sa’ad Dawabsheh, 32, the father; and his 18-month-old baby Ali died as a result of the arson; the mother, Riham and their four-year-old son Ahmed are still listed in critical condition in Tel Hashomer Medical Center in Tel Aviv.
Although evidence on the scene includes Hebrew graffiti on the walls of the torched home, it is still not 100 percent certain that Jews were behind the terrible destruction and murder that was wrought, due to questionable calligraphic and content elements. A gag order has been clamped on the investigation.
Last Thursday, Israeli police also raided the Jewish community of Geulat Tzion in the nearby Samaria town of Shiloh in connection with the investigation. Eight Jews were detained in that roundup, according to Honenu, including a young couple and their child.
According to Honenu, all of the detainees were arrested on suspicion of entering a closed military zone. However, none of those arrested had seen any notice or posted sign that the area was a closed military zone, the group said.
On Sunday, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon also issued administrative detention orders for two additional suspects, Eviyatar Slonim and Meir Ettinger, the latter being the grandson of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane. Both were scheduled to appear for arraignment in court Sunday but the order by Ya’alon now allows their detention to be extended up to six months without a court appearance.
According to a statement by the Defense Ministry, the administrative detention order was issued upon the recommendation of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet).