Israeli car set on fire in Taibe.
(photo credit: BURKA.NET)
Less than a month after the attempted lynching of a Jewish motorist in Taiba, the Lod District Court on Thursday indicted a 21-year-old man from the Triangle region east of Kfar Saba, on charges of aggravated assault, vandalism and disorderly conduct.
The suspect, Muhammed Haj Yihyeh, is accused of being part of a group of rioters who stopped a Jewish motorist on the night of November 9 as he was driving his car northbound on Route 444 from Kochav Yair. The motorist, who tried to do a U-turn in order to avoid burning tires in the road, was approached by rioters, who addressed him in Arabic, police said. Since he could not understand them, the crowd began shouting “Jew! Jew!” hurling rocks at him and his vehicle.
Police said that the rocks thrown by the rioters shattered the car’s front and back windshield and that Haj Yihyeh took a package of fireworks and lit them, before throwing them inside the car while the motorist was still in the vehicle.
The fireworks caused the car to catch fire, and it was completely consumed by the flames.
The driver was only saved by a Taiba man who ran to the scene and fought his way through the attackers. He put him in his vehicle with his children, and drove to a nearby police station, likely saving the man’s life.
Central District Police released a video on Thursday that they say shows Haj Yihyeh at the scene, speaking to a journalist’s camera.
In the video, a masked man can be seen saying “people of the Triangle, today it was Kafr Kana, tomorrow in Taiba and Umm al Fahm. Intifada, intifada, anyone who can carry out an intifada in their own way. God willing the blood of Kheir a-Din Hamdan won’t be spilled in vain. God is greater than the Zionists! Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar!” The indictment says that Haj Yihyeh also threw a package of lit fireworks at a police cruiser.
Police said Thursday they expect further arrests in the case.
The rioting in Taiba was part of disturbances across the Arab sector after the killing of local Kafr Kana man Kheir a-Din Hamdan by police the night before. The man was banging on a police van with what appeared to be a knife and then began walking away when he was shot by a cop who had just exited the van.
The November 9 incident followed one that took place in the nearby town of Kalansuwa in early July, in the midst of Arab rioting that followed the murder of Shuafat teenager Muhammed Abu Khdeir by Jewish extremists. Then, too, a Jewish motorist who lives nearby was stopped by a mob near the entrance to the town and forced out of his car, and then the mob torched it. He was not hurt, and he fled on foot.