|Photo by: REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman|
Molotov cocktail throwers arrested in West Bank
By YAAKOV LAPPIN, YONAH JEREMY BOB
Suspects aren't affiliated with a terrorist organization; confess to being behind attacks on vehicles on Route 60.
Security forces announced on Thursday the uncovering of a group of Palestinian
men accused of being behind a series of Molotov cocktail attacks on Israeli
The men, from the West Bank village of Sanjal, in the Ramallah
area, allegedly firebombed a vehicle on November 19 as it traveled on Route 60,
causing the car to burn down completely.
According to the indictment
recently filed by the IDF in the Military Court of Judea, Haseen Sabana
approached Yusuf Gafri on the day of the attack about throwing rocks at “the
cars of Jews on the road” nearby.
Gafri countered with suggesting that
they throw Molotov cocktails, far more destructive than rocks, said the
The two eventually called Hasan Aspor and Vasim Abu to join
them in their attack plans, the indictment said.
The indictment alleged
that the four traveled to a spot near Route 60 to prepare for the
To enhance their chances at striking a target at close range,
Hasan climbed up to a separate look-out point in order to spot incoming traffic
and warn the rest of the cell when a “car of Jews was about to pass by.” Next,
Haseen prepared the gasoline and all of the attackers prepared glass bottles in
order to make the Molotov cocktails, said the indictment.
minutes after the cell arrived at their ambush spot, Hasan called Haseen by
telephone from the look-out point and told them that a Jewish car was imminently
passing by them, the indictment alleged.
According to the document, the
other three cell members lit their Molotov cocktails and threw them at the
The indictment said that two of the Molotov cocktails hit
the road near the car, but one hit the back portion of the car, being driven by
Margalit Bendheimer, along with passenger Daniel Mahon.
cocktail that hit the car blew up the back window, the whole car started to burn
and Mahon’s hat caught fire, said the document.
Bendheimer was able to
drive the car a little bit past the area of the attack and then the two
evacuated the vehicle, which eventually burst into flames, the indictment
According to the document, they fled the area and managed to
escape injury, and the cell also fled the area.
The Shin Bet [Israel
Security Agency] said most of the suspects confessed to being behind that attack
and several others, including rock throwing at Israeli buses and IDF vehicles
traveling on Route 60.
One of the defendants, 29- year-old Sabana, was
found to be in possession of two rifles, while a second, Gafri, 20, confessed to
agreeing to take part in pipe bomb attacks.
The indictment listed charges
for several other attacks, including previous molotov cocktail attacks dating
back to 2008.
Neither man was affiliated with a terrorist organization,
the investigation found.
Security sources said the village of Sanjal is a
“center for violent disturbances,” adding that the area experienced a
significant reduction in violence following the arrests.