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Palestinian minor charged over deadly West Bank terror shooting

Prosecutors say suspect was persuaded to drive two gunmen near Homesh outpost, where they killed Yehuda Dimentman in December

Israeli security forces inspect the scene of a shooting attack near Homesh, in the West Bank, on December 16, 2021. (Hillel Maeir/Flash9)
Israeli security forces inspect the scene of a shooting attack near Homesh, in the West Bank, on December 16, 2021. (Hillel Maeir/Flash9)

Military prosecutors on Thursday filed an indictment against a Palestinian minor accused in the killing of yeshiva student Yehuda Dimentman last year.

According to the Shin Bet security agency, a cell belonging to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group carried out the deadly shooting attack in the northern West Bank in December, in which Dimentman was killed and two others were lightly wounded.

The suspect — who cannot be named because he is a minor — was charged with deliberate homicide for driving the car used in the drive-by shooting near the illegal outpost of Homesh.

According to the indictment filed at the Samaria Military Court, two Palestinians who allegedly carried out the shooting itself told the suspect that they would “teach the settlers that if one of their number is killed they won’t return to the settlements.”

The pair paid NIS 2,800 for a car that had been taken off the road due to being in ill repair. They drove around in it looking for a place to carry out the attack and decided on the Homesh Junction, prosecutors said. They surveyed the junction and made note of where the IDF had placed roadblocks in the area. One evening they waited at the junction to carry out an attack but no Israeli vehicle came past.

During one of their patrols to carry out an attack, Muhammad Youssef Jaradat proposed that if they kill a settler they would take the body and hide it at a spot near the village of Burqa.

On the night of the attack, the suspect whistled to Jaradat and another suspected terrorist who took part in the attack and then got into the car ready for the escape, the prosecution said.

The two shooters fired 20 rounds each at the car, fatally wounding Dimentman, according to the indictment.

Yehuda Dimentman. (Courtesy)

A jam in one of the weapons caused them both to stop firing and they escaped in the car allegedly driven by the accused minor. Along the way, they heard on the radio that they had killed Dimentman. The weapons were later hidden beneath the stairs in the home of the accused minor, with the intention of carrying out another attack, prosecutors charged.

However, all of the suspects were arrested by security forces before they could use the weapons again.

Prosecutors said they intend to file indictments against the two other suspects, who allegedly committed the shooting itself, as well as the mother of the minor — Ataaf Youssef Muhammad Jaradat — for not preventing the attack.

Prosecutors said the minor told his mother of the attack plans, and she allegedly told him he was free to do as he wished and she would not prevent him.

The families of three suspects — Muhammad Youssef Jaradat, Mahmoud Ghaleb Jaradat, and Ghaith Ahmed Yassin Jaradat — have been notified by the military that their homes will be demolished.

IDF soldiers operating in the West Bank Palestinian town of Silat al-Harithiya, December 20, 2021. (Israel Defense Forces)

As a punitive policy, Israel demolishes the homes of Palestinians accused of carrying out deadly terror attacks. Over the years, however, a number of Israeli defense officials have questioned the efficacy of the practice, and human rights activists have denounced it as unfair collective punishment.

Out of all the suspects, only two were believed to have conducted the actual shooting, while the rest were suspected of helping them or otherwise being involved in the cell.

Palestinian officials have previously identified other arrested individuals as Ibrahim Musa Tahaineh, Taher Abu Salah, and Omar Ahmed Yassin Jaradat.

Dimentman was a student at a yeshiva near where the attack took place. Homesh is a former settlement that was emptied as part of a 2005 eviction — the so-called “disengagement” — but is now the site of the illegally operated religious school.

The 25-year-old was a father of a 9-month-old son and lived in the West Bank settlement of Shavei Shomron.

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