Several Arab Israelis have been arrested for attacking Jews during ethnic unrest that rocked the country last month, the Shin Bet security service and police announced Thursday.
Three of the suspects were accused of shooting at a Jewish man outside the northern village of Zalafa. Two others were alleged to have assaulted Jews in the town of Kafr Qara.
A joint statement from the Shin Bet and police said the three suspects in the May 13 drive-by shooting planned the attack and rode in a car without license plates. The man they shot at “hid from the line of fire” and was not hurt, according to the statement.
The suspects, all residents of Zalafa, were also accused of taking part in “additional violent riots” last month. A “severe indictment” was filed Thursday against the three — Kamil Zetawee, Harun Jabareen and Mahmoud Qabalan — and prosecutors requested that the vehicle they allegedly used be impounded. The statement didn’t specify what crimes they were charged with.
The other two suspects, both from Kafr Qara, were alleged to have taken part in “nationalistic” assaults. The two were named as Bashir Abu Rashid, 21, and Muhammed Hamarsha, 31.
“The investigation revealed they were in involved in mass riots as part of a large number of popular terror incidents during the month of May, including throwing rocks at security forces, vandalizing public property, burning tires and shooting fireworks,” the statement said.
Hamarsha was also accused of involvement in an assault on a Jewish man driving near Kafr Qana on May 11, injuring him and causing damage to his vehicle. Abu Rashid was alleged to taken part in an attack on a Jewish family that accidentally drove through Kafr Qana the next day, which the statement said included rock-throwing at the car and attempts to open the doors to assault the passengers.
The Shin Bet and police said unspecified charges have also been filed against Abu Rashid and Hamarsha.
שני אזרחים תושבי הצפון מואשמים במעורבות בשני מעשי לינץ’ ביהודים שנקלעו להתפרעויות בכפר קרע בחודש שעבר, בזמן מבצע “שומר החומות”
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The announcement of the arrests came hours after the security service and police revealed that seven Jewish Israelis from Herzliya and the surrounding area were arrested for their alleged involvement in an attack on an Arab man during last month’s rioting.
The violence in ethnically mixed cities and other parts of Israel, which erupted as the Israel Defense Forces and Palestinian terror groups engaged in 11 days of intense fighting in the Gaza Strip, was the most serious internal unrest to grip the country in years.