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Firebombing injures 6 Palestinians near Bat Ayin
By BEN HARTMAN AND TOVAH LAZAROFF
16/08/2012
PM condemns attack targeting Palestinian taxi; initial investigation reveals Jewish extremists may have carried out firebombing.
 
Unknown assailants threw a Molotov cocktail at a Palestinian taxi outside the Gush Etzion settlement of Bat Ayin on Thursday night, leaving six people lightly to moderately wounded, including two children.

Results from an initial investigation raised fears that Jewish extremists could have perpetrated the attack.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a statement late Thursday night condemning the attack.  "This is a very serious incident. We will do everything we can to catch those responsible and to bring them to justice," he said.

Judea and Samaria Commander Brigadier General Hagai Mordechai added that the incident could compromise security and stability in the West Bank.

On Thursday night Mordechai increased IDF presence along friction points on West Bank roads.

A security source said that it would have been obvious to the assailants that they were targeting a Palestinian taxi, because the attack occurred in day light in a place with good visibility.

The yellow vehicle with a green Palestinian license plate, typically of West Bank Palestinian taxis, could not have been mistaken for any other kind of vehicle, the security source said.

But, the source added, that the investigation was still in its initial stages.

According to the police, the taxi flipped and burst into flames after the Molotov cocktail hit it. Paramedics evacuated all six wounded to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital shortly thereafter.

Police said they found a second, ready-to-use Molotov cocktail near the site of the firebombing. They would not comment as to whether or not Jewish extremists firebombed the taxi, saying they are still in the initial stages of the investigation.

The Shin Bet joined police and IDF troops in the search for the assailants, which is currently ongoing in the West Bank.

The Shin Bet had initially refused to comment on whether or not they consider the incident a “Price Tag” attack, the name given to attacks by Jewish extremists against Palestinians in order to protest government policies, saying that the investigation is still in its initial phase. The Shin Bet also placed a gag order on details of the attack.

The Tag Meir group condemned the attack in a statement released by the organization's chairman Dr. Gadi Gvaryahu, saying "We must not allow such Price Tag attacks to become commonplace." Gvaryahu added: "The security apparatus must do everything in its power to arrest those responsible for attacking an innocent Palestinian family."

Jpost.com staff contributed to this report
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