(photo credit: INIMAGE)
Three teenage residents from the settlement of Bat Ayin in Gush Etzion were indicted in Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on a litany of charges, including assaulting Arabs and an IDF officer, obstruction of justice, and damaging Palestinian property.
According to the Tuesday indictment, David Or Shahar, 19, and two unidentified minors, aged 16 and 17, participated in numerous nationalistically motivated attacks over the last year-and-a-half.
In one instance in October of 2013, the teens are accused of assaulting a Palestinian laborer, as well as an IDF officer who attempted to protect him, and throwing rocks at a Palestinian truck.
The three were also charged with a “price-tag” attack – cutting down several olive trees owned by neighboring Palestinians and spray-painting the words “Arabs are thieves” on a nearby wall.
The indictment estimated the damages at NIS 30,000.
Meanwhile, the 17-year-old suspect was also charged with obstruction of justice after contacting Elad Yaakov Sela, 25, an IDF soldier from Bat Ayin who was arrested on March 10 on charges of espionage.
Sela was subsequently indicted for allegedly disclosing classified information to settlers in the community regarding planned military and police raids against residents participating in illegal activities there.
Bat Ayin made international headlines last February when resident Ofer Gamliel, a member of the radical Bat Ayin Jewish underground, was released from prison two years before the conclusion of his sentence for a failed 2002 bomb plot against an Arab girls school.
Gamliel and accomplice Shlomi Dvir, both from the settlement, were arrested after security personnel intercepted and defused a bomb intended to destroy the school in Jerusalem’s Abu Tor neighborhood, records state.
Following their trial, both men were convicted for planning to detonate the bomb – transported in a wagon, and containing diesel fuel and metal bolts – to kill the students and passersby.
The Bat Ayin organization was founded by radical Jewish members of the settlement during the second intifada as a means of carrying out revenge terrorist attacks against Arabs.
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) has cited numerous farright Bat Ayin residents as participating in activities against IDF personnel and Palestinians for the past several years.