Five minors arrested over fatal stabbing of teenager last month

All suspects in killing of Netanel Aharon are 15; initial investigation reportedly finds friend of victim was intended target in dispute among youths in Rishon Lezion

Undated photo of Netanel Aharon. (Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Undated photo of Netanel Aharon. (Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Five teenagers were arrested Thursday on suspicion of involvement in the killing of Netanel Aharon, 15, last month in the central city of Rishon Lezion.

The arrests were the culmination of an undercover operation launched in the wake of the January 5 stabbing. All of the suspects, residents of the city, are 15, the Israel Police said in a statement.

Officers searched the suspects’ homes and found a drug laboratory and a digital scale believed to have been used for the narcotics trade.

The suspects were to be brought for a remand hearing later in the day.

Police suspect that the fatal stabbing was carried out due to a dispute.

An initial investigation found that Aharon was not the target of the stabbing but rather his friend who was with him at the time, the Kan public broadcaster reported.

The friend, in his 20s, was embroiled in a dispute with two people from a different neighborhood in the city.

On the day of the stabbing, Aharon met his friend at the entrance to the latter’s apartment building on Rashi Street. A group of youths ran toward them and his friend escaped back inside the building. Aharon did not manage to get away and the gang stabbed him to “send a message” to the intended target, according to the report.

Aharon was taken to the local Assaf Harofeh Medical Center. The hospital reported that the boy arrived in critical condition and died several hours later despite the efforts of doctors to save him.

A day after the stabbing, police arrested the friend as a suspect but he was released hours later.

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