Photo Credit: Israel Police
Police heading toward Arab rioters at Segev Shalom junction in southern Israel, May 11, 2021.

Four Bedouin who assaulted a Jewish Israeli journalist and torched his car during riots in the Negev in January and who threw firebombs at a police station in the Segev Shalom area were recently arrested by the Shin Bet security service.

Following the JNF’s planting of trees in the Negev in January, on state lands which the Bedouin claimed as their own, the Bedouin rioted, including the blocking of roads with burning tires and rock-throwing at passing vehicles. A train was forced to make an emergency stop after the driver noticed that rocks were placed on the tracks, apparently by the rioters.

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The four suspects are Mahran Abu Adra, Bilal Abu Adra, Kerem Al-Qadi and Ismail Al-Qadi, aged 18-19. Mahran, Balal and Karem were born in Israel and their parents, born outside the country, received their legal status in Israel as part of the family unifications proceedings between Arabs with Israeli citizenship and those from enemy countries.

Some 38% of the detainees arrested for rioting in the Negev in January are descendants of Palestinians living in Israel by virtue of family reunifications. According to the Shin Bet data, from 2001 to July 2021, 165 Palestinians who were granted status in Israel by virtue of family reunification, or children of Palestinians who were granted status by virtue of this procedure, were involved in terrorist attacks.

The findings of the investigation show that the four assaulted the journalist, stole his personal belongings from his vehicle, and torched it after realizing that he was a Jew. These acts were committed while many others were engaged in throwing stones and planks at the vehicle, the Shin Bet noted in its report.

The investigation also revealed that the four participated in incidents of violent riots in Segev Shalom in the days prior to their arrest. They threw Molotov cocktails at the Segev Shalom police station, threw rocks at police forces, set tires on fire and blocked the Segev Shalom access road.

Some of them also participated in the violent riots that took place in the Negev in May 2021, part of the countrywide Muslim riots in Israel during the IDF’s Operation Guardian of the Walls against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Upon completion of the investigation, their cases were transferred to the Southern District Attorney’s Office, which is expected to file serious indictments against them in the Beer Sheva District Court.

“The General Security Service and the Israel Police take all involvement of Israeli citizens in terrorist activity very seriously, and will continue to work to bring to justice those who work to harm the security of the state’s citizens and security forces,” they stated Thursday.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.