A young Arab couple and their baby were forced to exit their home early Tuesday when two smoke bombs were tossed in their window in the village of Bitilu, near Ramallah.
The couple and their 9-month-old baby escaped the attack unharmed.
Scrawled on the outside wall of their home in black spray painted Hebrew letters were the words, “Revenge: Regards, Prisoners of Zion.”
The writing style appeared significantly different from that seen at the site of the torched home in the Arab village of Duma this past summer. Three families lost their lives as a result of that attack; only a four-year-old boy remains in medical care at an Israeli hospital.
Israeli security personnel and Civil Administration officials converged on the scene to scrutinize evidence at the home, located in Area A of the Palestinian Authority, which is under the complete administrative and security control of the PA government. No Israelis are allowed to enter this territory.
Israel Radio interviewed the father, “Kasel,” and husband who was rescued by neighbors from his home. “They came to our house at 1:30 am… broke the glass and then threw smoke bombs into the house,” he related. “The house filled up with gas smoke – it was impossible to re-enter until now. The neighbors came to help us escape.”
IDF soldiers and members of the Israel Police both arrived to investigate, he said.
He added that he did not see the perpetrators who vandalized the home, but said this had not been the first attack, or the second. “Our neighbor’s car was burned,” he said.
“I don’t inflict any damage on anyone. I want to live in peace,” he appealed.
There were a number of theories being circulated Tuesday morning as Israelis once again pondered who might have perpetrated an attack on an Arab family in the middle of a remote village in the Palestinian Authority.
It could indeed have been carried out by Jews, possibly “hilltop youth.”
It might also have been carried out by Arabs, who also are fluent in Hebrew and have in the past used that language to implicate Jews and divert attention elsewhere.
But this late-night attack may also have been carried out by someone enraged over the recent torture of Jewish youths by Shabak (Shin Bet). The domestic intelligence agency has been accused of using torture in hopes of forcing a confession in the Duma arson-murder case.
Shabak has succeeded in angering so many by torturing Jewish teens being held in administrative detention that they may just have created a new monster.
No one except the suspects and the Shin Bet really knows whether or not they were tortured. It is also likely that no one is going to tell the truth about it either. One can assume that the suspects know all the tricks, such as cutting one’s wrists enough to bleed, and then claim to have attempted suicide.
But it is known that Shabak says its investigators are using “intensive” questioning methods. That much is clear.