Three boys from the settlement of Bat Ayin, suspected of throwing a firebomb at a Palestinian car and injuring six people, were remanded by the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Monday. The three, aged 12 and 13, were to remain in custody until Thursday.
Police claimed to have forensic evidence — apparently fingerprints — tying two of the boys to the attack.
Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino said he expected further arrests in the affair, and noted that the attack “threatens the fabric of life” in Israel.
On Sunday, the three boys were arrested on suspicion of throwing a Molotov cocktail that injured six Palestinians in a taxi near the West Bank settlement of Bat Ayin on August 16.
Five of the injured were members of the same Palestinian family, from nearby Nahalin. The parents, 35 and 27 years of age, suffered second-degree burns in the attack, while their three children and the driver suffered first-degree burns.
The father was burned on his face and body when he was trapped in the taxi after it rolled into a ditch.
IDF troops found another firebomb at the scene of the crime.
The three were first brought before a Jerusalem magistrate on Sunday evening. The mother of one of the boys said Sunday her son was innocent and the allegations were unfounded.
On Monday, the father of one of the boys said “he was not there” when the attack took place. The father added that his son had “not been educated to hate Arabs.” He said, however, that the settlement’s residents “don’t live in a vacuum,” and that two Bat Ayin residents had been murdered in terror attacks.
A relative of one of the victims said they had reported seeing an adult at the scene — someone in his late-20s.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had sent a letter to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas after the attack, pledging that Israel would bring the perpetrators to justice.
Netanyahu said he saw the incident as “very serious,” and was committed to finding those responsible. Netanyahu added that he would “closely follow the medical treatment received by those who were injured” and offered to extend whatever additional assistance may be necessary.
The attack was also condemned by the US State Department.
Nahalin Mayor Ossama Shakarneh condemned the attack as “cowardly” and claimed it wasn’t the first of its kind. “The settlers are constantly bombarding us with rocks and attacking Palestinians,” he said.
Davidi Perel, the head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, said that if the incident was a Jewish terror attack, “we indeed strongly condemn it. We denounce all terrorism, whether it is directed against Jews or against Arabs.”
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) condemned the attack as well.
“We are horrified by these violent attacks against Palestinians but welcome Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s pledge to Palestinian President Abbas that the victims of this heinous assault will see justice served,” said Abraham Foxman, ADL national director. “If the attacks were carried out by Israeli Jewish youth, this violence cannot be seen as isolated incidents. Israeli leadership — political, religious, cultural — must come together to make clear that these manifestations of hate are unacceptable and will not be tolerated, and that countrywide social and educational initiatives must be considered.”