THE CAR Alexander Levlovitz (inset) was driving is seen after his fatal collision.
(photo credit: ARIK ABULOFF / JERUSALEM FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICES)
Interior Minister Arye Deri on Thursday ordered the revocation of residency rights of four east Jerusalem Palestinian terrorists responsible for four recent Jewish murders in two separate attacks in the capital.
It is the first time in over a year and a half since the measure, which is rarely implemented by the government, has been utilized.
Among the four, three were indicted on October 15 and charged with the September 13 death of Alexander Levlovitz, 64, who lost control of his car on Rosh Hashana Eve when its windshield was shattered by rocks thrown by the defendants from an overpass in Armon Hanatziv.
Levlovitz, a grandfather, who was driving home with his two daughters at the time, died hours after striking a utility pole. His daughters were both wounded in the attack.
An investigation determined the rocks were thrown by youths from the neighboring Arab village of Sur Bahir. In a joint statement with the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), police said that shortly after their arrests the four suspects confessed to carrying out the attack.
Muhammad Salah Muhammad Abu Kaf, 18, Walid Fares Mustafa Atrash, 18, and Abed Muhammad Abed Rabo Dawiat, 17, were charged with manslaughter and remain in custody. The unidentified fourth suspect, a minor, is not having his residency revoked.
The Shin Bet said one of the three had told investigators that he carried out the attack in the name of terrorist group Hamas, adding that they had thrown stones at several Israeli cars before hitting Levlovitz’s.
Hamas operative and Jebl Mukaber resident Bilal Abu Ghanem, 21 – who is responsible for perhaps the bloodiest attack in the capital since the terrorism wave began in October – is the fourth terrorist to have his residency rights revoked.
On October 13, Ghanem and Baha Alyan boarded the number 78 Egged Bus where Armon Hanatziv and Jebl Mukaber intersect and proceeded to stab and shoot Jewish passengers. Alyan was shot dead by police and Ghanem was taken into custody.
Haim Haviv, 78, Alon Govberg, 51, and Richard Lakin, 76, were murdered, and over a dozen other passengers were seriously wounded in the attack, which rattled the nation.
State Prosecutor Uri Korb said that Ghanem “did not express regret for his actions.”
Upon taking office late last year, Deri vowed to revoke the residency rights of all convicted terrorists, stating that it is unconscionable to provide killers with state benefits of any kind.
“This is an unusual step, but the severity of their actions completely justifies my decision,” Deri said in a statement. “When carrying out these terrorist attacks, the assailants took advantage of the freedom of movement they enjoyed as part of their resident status.”