zada suspect 298.
(photo credit: Gai Nitzani, Israel Police)
The seven suspects arrested two weeks ago for the lynch of Eden Nathan Zada, who killed four Shfaram residents last summer when he opened fire on a bus in protest of disengagement, were released to house arrest on Sunday by the Haifa Magistrate's Court.
Immediately after the shooting, Zada, an AWOL soldier who was wearing his IDF uniform when he opened fire with his army-issued M-16 on a crowded bus, was allegedly beaten to death by an angry mob. During the melee, five policemen were also injured as they tried to prevent the crowd from storming the bus and throwing metal objects and bottles.
Police said they planned to charge the suspects - three Muslim, three Druse, and one Christian, all reported to have criminal records - with murder.
Following the attack, the monitoring committee of the Israeli Arab leadership called on the police not to investigate the lynching aspect, saying that those involved acted in self-defense.
Photographic evidence, however, seemed to indicate that Zada was beaten to death after he had already been subdued and handcuffed by police.
While the arrests were met with stiff criticism from leaders in the Israeli Arab community, Ronen said that the arrests of the seven set an important precedent.
'I know that there are people - and not just in Shfaram - who will deepen their trauma, and who believe that justice was carried out against the terrorist. But to the overwhelming majority, it is clear that in an orderly country one cannot take the law into one's own hands.'