Southern District Police have arrested three minors on suspicion of torching a district judge’s car outside his house in Omer last week, a crime that drew widespread condemnation from the legal and political leadership.

The three are all between the ages of 15 and 17, and according to one of them, they torched the car as a dare, in order “to show they were men,” police said Wednesday.

The other two suspects, however, said that they had broken into the car and stolen cigarettes and change, and then decided to torch it after realizing that they had left fingerprints behind in the vehicle.

The teens, all from the nearby village of Tel Sheva, were arrested within 48 hours of the crime and have confessed to taking part in the arson, police said. All three were caught on CCTV cameras at the scene of the crime, and had been involved in the burglary of another car in Omer shortly beforehand, police said.

The arson took place the same week that the judge, Nasser Abu Taha, had been given a security detail because of a family feud in which he was involved, leading police to examine the possibility that the crime was connected to the feud.

The incident in Omer drew the condemnation of the Public Security Ministry, the Supreme Court and police, who placed it at the top of their priorities. The arson followed a series of crimes against judges and prosecutors in the country, including the bombing of a car belonging to a Tel Aviv prosecutor near the courthouse in November.



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