Prosecutors to indict three Israelis for hurling firebombs at Arab beachgoer

Police say suspects in ‘terrorist activity’ spoke to victim in Arabic then hurled Molotov cocktails at him that failed to ignite

Image showing a Molotov cocktail attack on an Arab Israeli man and his companion at the Olga Beach in Hadrea, June 12, 2021. (Israel Police)
Image showing a Molotov cocktail attack on an Arab Israeli man and his companion at the Olga Beach in Hadrea, June 12, 2021. (Israel Police)

Prosecutors intend to file indictments against three people suspected of attacking an Arab Israeli man on a beach in Hadera last month by hurling Molotov cocktails at him, Israel Police said in a statement Wednesday.

With the announcement of pending indictments, the arrests of the suspects, aged 19, 22, and 25 from the Hadera neighborhood of Givat Olga, were made public.

The trio was arrested earlier this month, police said, adding that the suspects’ motives were believed to be nationalistic and referring to the incident in the police statement as “terrorist activity.”

Police said that on June 12, the three suspects approached two people who were sitting on Hadera’s Olga beach, included the alleged victim and a female companion. Speaking in Arabaic, the suspects allegedly asked him for the time. When he responded in Arabic, they hurled the firebombs at him, which failed to explode and “miraculously did not cause injuries,” the police said.

The intended victim was a resident of the Haifa area Arab village of Mu’awiya, aged 28, and his female companion.

The suspects were arrested on July 4 following a joint police and the Shin Bet security service investigation and their remand has been periodically extended since then.

Indictments will be filed against the suspects at the Haifa District Court on Thursday, police said, along with a request that they are held until the end of proceedings. The statement did not specify the exact charges that are to be brought against the three.

An attorney from the right-wing legal aid group Honenu who is representing one of the suspects said in a statement that “without going into the details of the investigation,” his client was a “normative youth” who, over recent weeks, has undergone “serious abuse during his Shin Bet investigation.”

Police said that for a number of weeks before the incident, there had been verbal altercations between Arab and Jewish visitors to the beach.

“The high point of this tension was expressed in the Molotov cocktail attack,” the police said.

“The Shin Bet and the Israel Police will continue to work to thwart terrorist activity of any kind, in order to maintain the security of all residents of the State of Israel,” police said. “This is of great importance in maintaining the joint fabric of life throughout the country.”

Also Wednesday, police said they have identified a suspect who carried out a terror attack against a Jewish man in the center of Israel earlier in July.

Prosecutors said they intend to indict a 33-year-old Palestinian man from the village of Einabus in the northern West Bank for attacking a 47 year-old-man on a pedestrian bridge between Bnei Brak and Givat Shmuel with a blunt object, causing mild injuries.

“The investigation of the suspect revealed that he planned to carry out the terror attack with nationalistic intent and even did the groundwork in the days before the incident, in order to find a location and [a] suitable date for it,” police said.

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