Four Arab teenagers were arrested for stabbing a Jewish man in East Jerusalem two weeks ago, police announced on Wednesday. The details of the case were kept under wraps as police and the Shin Bet security service were investigating the incident.
The four, aged 13-17, had previously been arrested for throwing rocks and petrol bombs, While under police custody the four formed a group they named “Lovers of the Land,” whose goal was to stab Jews.
Upon their release, two members of the gang purchased knives to carry out the attack, and 12 days ago, on a Friday night, the teens headed to the Ras al-Amoud neighborhood just outside the Old City walls. They lay in ambush waiting for Jewish passersby returning from Friday night prayers at the Western Wall, and, when two Jewish men drew near, one of the suspects stabbed him in the back and the four then made their escape.
The 35-year-old victim was able to make his way to the nearby Jewish neighborhood known as the Moskowitz compound and received medical assistance there. Security forces searched the area and on Saturday night arrested one of the suspects. A few days later another suspect was arrested, and under questioning he named the other two members of the gang.
Jewish protesters held a demonstration in Ras al-Amoud on the same Saturday night against the stabbing and called for more police presence in the area.
During the course of the investigation, police discovered that family members of the four teens were also involved in planning and preparing for the attack. The father and brother of one of the suspects were arrested.