Two Israeli Jewish teens who inadvertently injured a 4-year-old Jewish toddler in a rock throwing attack aimed at Palestinian cars, were released from IDF custody Sunday morning after testifying to their involvement in the attack near the West Bank city of Hebron Saturday night.
Israel Police spokesperson Luba Samri said the initial investigation identified the attackers as residents of the nearby settlement of Kiryat Arba who, prior to the attack, were holding a demonstration near Route 60, a major West Bank thoroughfare.
Samri said the investigation into the incident is ongoing, but police expect to make a number of arrests in connection to the attack.
The teenagers were arrested hours after the attack by IDF soldiers whom they told they had sought to stone Palestinian cars.
The 4-year-old boy sustained light injuries by glass shards from the car’s shattered window.
Since an ongoing wave of Palestinian terror attacks and Palestinian-Israeli violence broke out three months ago, there have been several cases where attackers misidentified the nationality of their victims. On October 13, a Jewish man stabbed and moderately wounded another Jew in a supermarket in Kiryat Ata after mistaking him for a Palestinian. He was later indicted for attempted murder.
On November 23, two Palestinian girls stabbed a 70-year-old Palestinian man in downtown Jerusalem, taking him for a Jew.
In a fatal case of misidentification, Haftom Zarhum, an Eritrean migrant, was shot and beaten to death by a mob that mistakenly believed he was a Palestinian attacker at the Beersheba bus station on October 18. The suspects — two Israel Prison Service employees, an IDF soldier and two civilians — face charges of aggravated assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm for their alleged role in the brutal attack.