2 Umm al-Fahm men indicted for alleged attack on ambulance during May’s unrest

Suspects charged with aggravated terrorist assault for attack that included blocking vehicle carrying wounded officer who had been shot, in move designed to ‘worsen his condition’

Israeli security forces spray protesters with skunk water during clashes in Umm al-Fahm in northern Israel, on May 19, 2021. (Ahmad GHARABLI / AFP)
Israeli security forces spray protesters with skunk water during clashes in Umm al-Fahm in northern Israel, on May 19, 2021. (Ahmad GHARABLI / AFP)

Two men have been charged for an attack in which they allegedly hurled stones and fired fireworks at police officers, as well as blocking an ambulance in the northern town Umm al-Fahm during ethnic unrest that rocked the country in May, the police announced Sunday.

The suspects, aged 18 and 20, both residents of the Arab city, participated in a violent demonstration near the entrance of the city on May 11, Israel Police said in a statement. During the protest, the men also allegedly help set fire to a electric pole that supported a security camera.

The next night, an ambulance carrying a wounded police officer who was shot during violent clashes near the city’s entrance was attacked by a number of rioters including the two suspects, police said.

Police said the rioters blocked the ambulance, threw stones at it, broke its windows and tried to force open the door.

“This was in order to prevent the treatment of the wounded police officer and worsen his condition due to an ideological nationalist motive,” police charged.

The ambulance then turned back to the local Magen David Adom emergency services station, where the wounded officer was transferred to a police car that took him to another ambulance that was waiting outside of the city.

The two accused men are also suspected of opening fire with a makeshift Carlo-style submachine gun near a community center in Umm al-Fahm, police said. It was not clear when this separate incident took place.

Police are seen in Lod during ethnic rioting in the mixed Jewish-Arab city in central Israel, May 12, 2021. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

Police said the two men were arrested in August and the indictment was filed on Friday, but the details of the investigation were released for publication only on Sunday.

The indictment charged the two with aggravated terrorist assault, attempted assault of a public worker, rioting, abetting arson, intentional sabotage of a vehicle and weapons offenses, among other charges.

The violence in Arab locales and ethnically mixed cities of Israel, which erupted as the Israel Defense Forces and Palestinian terror groups engaged in 11 days of intense fighting in the Gaza Strip, was the most serious internal unrest to grip the country in years.

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