Three people arrested over a video showing dozens of guests at an Israeli wedding celebrating the murders of a Palestinian family were released to house arrest on Thursday, after the police decided not to appeal the move.
The courts had ordered that the three — groom Yakir Ashbel, far-right activist Daniel Pinner and an unnamed minor — be sent home on Wednesday, but delayed their releases in order to grant the police time to appeal. The police later said they would not object to the court order, and the trio were sent home on Thursday.
Ashbel and the others were taken in for questioning over their participation in the event, in which wedding-goers danced with guns, knives and a mock Molotov cocktail and celebrated the killings of the Dawabsha family.
The suspects were arrested on Tuesday, and questioned for alleged incitement and illegal handling of firearms.
Pinner, a resident of the West Bank settlement of Tapuah, was seen dancing at the wedding in a T-shirt of the outlawed far-right Kach movement. He told Channel 2 television after the footage came to light last week that he had been handed a toy weapon, and did not believe he had done anything illegal.
The groom had previously said he was unaware of the revelers’ behavior at the wedding.
“I didn’t even see it. At my wedding I was in the clouds, not on the ground at all,” Ashbel told Channel 10 television last week. He called the footage “shocking,” but insisted that “there were about 600 people at my wedding, and this wasn’t something I agreed to. There were a million people. I don’t control what happens at my wedding. I’m just the groom; I didn’t even pay for the photographer or the singer.”
The video, aired by Channel 10, also showed revelers holding and stabbing a photo of 18-month-old Ali Dawabsha, who was burned to death in the July 31 firebombing at the family home in the West Bank village of Duma. His parents, Riham and Saad Dawabsha, succumbed to their injuries in the aftermath of the attack. Only one member of the family — Ahmed, now 5 — survived the firebombing, and remains hospitalized in Israel.
The crowd in the video chanted the lyrics of a song which include a verse from Judges 16:28, quoting Samson, blinded in Gaza, saying “let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes” — but changing the word Philistines to Palestine.
The video drew widespread condemnation from across the political spectrum. , though some right-wing lawmakers accused security officials of leaking the clip to demonize Jewish extremists being investigated over the Duma firebombing.
Adiv Sterman, Judah Ari Gross and Raoul Wootliff contributed to this report.