5 Bedouin indicted on terror charges over violence during May clashes

Suspects accused of singling out Jewish drivers on Route 31 and pelting them with stones, blocking road with burning tires amid conflict with Gaza Strip

Illustrative: Israel Police investigate the scene of a crime, June 2, 2021. (Israel Police)
Illustrative: Israel Police investigate the scene of a crime, June 2, 2021. (Israel Police)

Five Bedouin residents of the town of Kuseife in the south of the country were indicted on terror charges Sunday for alleged acts of violence in May during an armed conflict between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

The incidents happened on Route 31, between Beersheba and the Dead Sea, on the night of May 11-12, the Israel Police said in a statement.

A joint effort by the police and the Shin Bet security service brought about the arrest of suspects starting in mid-July. Though the statement did not say how many were arrested, five suspects were indicted for acts of terror committed on Route 31 between Shoket Junction and the city of Arad, close to an overpass.

They were named as Abdalla Nesarsah, Shadi Nesarsah, Nihad Nesarsah, Salaman Al-Saraiah, and Naggi Al-Saraiah, all Israeli citizens in their 20s and residents of Kuseife.

According to the indictments the suspects went to the overpass, some of them masked, and waved Palestinian flags and threw burning tires down onto the road to block it. The suspects also allegedly threw stones at passing buses and cars on Route 31, causing damage.

Prosecutors say that some of the suspects checked the vehicles before attacking them, targeting only those that had Jews, but not Arabs who signaled their ethnicity by, among other things, playing loud Arab music.

From May 10-21 Israel fought against the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip. In response to thousands of rockets fired by the Palestinian terror group at Israeli cities, the IDF carried out hundreds of bombing raids on Hamas targets in the coastal enclave.

The fighting also sparked mass unrest in mixed Arab-Jewish locales in Israel.

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