Israeli forces nab firebombers, rock throwers in West Bank, Jerusalem

Police rescue civilian security guards attacked with Molotov cocktails in the capital; 16 Palestinians arrested

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

Three East Jerusalem residents suspected of firebombing an armored security car were arrested on Sunday night, police said.

While on a patrol of the Arab neighborhood of Silwan in Jerusalem, the armored car was bombarded with Molotov cocktails, causing it to catch fire, police said.

The civilian security guards were rescued from the burning vehicle unharmed, the police said.

Searching the area after the firebombing attack, the police found evidence pointing to three suspects. Detectives arrested the three suspects in their homes on Sunday night, police said.

The three were brought to police headquarters for interrogation. On Monday, they were set to be brought before a judge in order to keep them in police custody.

In the West Bank, Israeli security forces arrested another 13 Palestinians suspected of throwing rocks or committing other security offenses on Sunday and early Monday morning, officials said.

A Palestinian boy uses a slingshot to launch rocks at Israeli troops in the al-Ayda refugee camp near Bethlehem on August 6, 2017. (Israel Police)
A Palestinian boy uses a slingshot to launch rocks at Israeli troops in the al-Ayda refugee camp near Bethlehem on August 6, 2017. (Israel Police)

In the al-Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem, Border Police officers arrested three Palestinian children who were caught on film throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at troops throughout the day, police said.

During one of those attacks, in which the children used slingshots to launch rocks at border guards, a group of officers in an armored car responded by “flanking them, chasing the rock throwers who fled into a building, and arresting” three suspects.

The arrested rock throwers were handed over to the Palestinian police, who called the children’s parents. The three were released on a bail set at 500 Jordanian dinars (NIS 2,550 or $700) each, the Israel Police said.

Elsewhere in the West Bank, the IDF arrested 10 Palestinian suspects, nine of them suspected of taking part in violent protests or throwing rocks.

The tenth was arrested in the West Bank village of Deir Qaddis, northeast of Modiin. He is suspected of “incitement,” the army said in a statement.

In addition, IDF soldiers accompanied a group of some 1,000 worshipers to the Joseph’s Tomb holy site in the Palestinian city of Nablus. The prayers at the shrine took place without issue, the army said.

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