Five Jewish Israelis arrested for attacks against Palestinians

Suspects, including two minors, accused of setting vehicle on fire and other unspecified ‘security transgressions’

Raoul Wootliff is the Times of Israel's former political correspondent and producer of the Daily Briefing podcast.

Illustrative photo of a masked Jewish settler holding a slingshot as he stands near the West Bank Jewish settlement of Mitzpeh Yitzhar, on May 19, 2013. (Mendy Hechtman/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of a masked Jewish settler holding a slingshot as he stands near the West Bank Jewish settlement of Mitzpeh Yitzhar, on May 19, 2013. (Mendy Hechtman/Flash90)

Five Jewish Israelis, including a soldier and two minors, are being held on suspicion of carrying out or planning attacks against Palestinians, police said Monday, after a judge partially lifted a gag order.

The two minors, ages 16 and 17, are suspected of “security transgressions against Palestinians,” according to a police statement.

One was arrested on April 5. The second was arrested Monday. Their identities were not made public, apparently due to them being minors.

Two of the adult suspects, identified by police as Dana Shneur and Pinhas Shandorfi, were also arrested on April 5.

Police said Shneur is suspected of setting a Palestinian’s vehicle on fire, conspiring to commit a crime and being a member of an illegal organization.

Shandorfi is suspected of “security offenses,” according to the statement, but no further details were offered.

The Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court extended Monday the remand of all five by one week, until April 18.

Police had requested an extension to the court-imposed gag order preventing publication of any details of the suspects, but Judge Ilana Danieli rejected the application.

Further details remain under gag order.

On April 5, the police and Shin Bet announced they had arrested three Jewish Israelis on suspicion of involvement in race-related hate crimes.

The arrests come amid an ongoing crackdown on Jewish terror following last summer’s fatal torching of a Palestinian home by suspected Jewish radicals.

Israel has charged a man and a minor over the attack, which triggered a crackdown on Jewish extremists, but the identity of the adult suspect — Amiram Ben-Uliel — wasn’t published for months thereafter.

Several extreme right-wing Israeli settlers, including alleged ringleader Meir Ettinger, have been detained without charge since the deadly attack on the Dawabsha family home in the village of Duma in July 2015.

Under administrative detention — an anti-terror measure more commonly used for Palestinian security prisoners — a detainee can be held for six months without being charged or tried. The order can be renewed indefinitely in six-month increments.

Ettinger has been denied release, even though he has not been directly linked to the firebombing, which left a Palestinian baby and both his parents dead.

Jewish extremists are also suspected of attacking Palestinians, torching homes and cars, and vandalizing mosques and churches in the West Bank and Israel.

Last month, five Jewish teens were arrested for attacking an Arab in Jerusalem and stealing his cellphone in what police said was “a distinctly racial incident.” The victim of the attack required medical treatment for light injuries.

Netanel Golenberg, 19, and the four other suspects were brought before the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court to be remanded into custody. Four of the suspects were not named, apparently because they are minors.

In a separate incident, prosecutors pressed charges last month against four 17-year-old Jews suspected of a “racially motivated” assault on two Arab men in the coastal city of Netanya.

The four were being charged with “racially motivated aggravated assault,” the justice minister said in a statement at the time.

Tensions between Jews and Arabs have risen during a six-month wave of violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Twenty-nine Israelis and four foreign nationals have been killed in a wave of Palestinian terrorism and violence since October of last year.

Some 190 Palestinians have also been killed, about two-thirds of them while attacking Israelis, and the rest during clashes with troops, according to the Israeli army.

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