Palestinian car firebombed in apparent east Jerusalem hate crime

"Death to Arabs"spray painted next to burned-out vehicle; Police continue to operate at highest state of alert throughout capital.

ANTI-ARAB GRAFFITTI found by police following an apparent hate crime in the east Jerusalem Palestinian neighborhood of Sur Bahir.  (photo credit: JERUSALEM FIRE DEPARTMENT)
ANTI-ARAB GRAFFITTI found by police following an apparent hate crime in the east Jerusalem Palestinian neighborhood of Sur Bahir.
A Palestinian vehicle was firebombed, with anti-Arab graffiti found affixed to nearby concrete, in an apparent hate crime in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sur Bahir early Sunday morning.
According to police, firefighters were deployed to the Arab neighborhood at approximately 3 a.m., following reports of a car engulfed in flames.
The firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze and prevent it from spreading to nearby cars and brush, police said.
Police who cordoned off the area found the words “Death to Arabs” and “Administrative revenge,” crudely spray-painted in Hebrew adjacent to the vehicle, and have opened an investigation into what appears to be a nationalistically- motivated crime, or so-called “price-tag attack.”
Administrative revenge likely refers to administrative detention, a controversial judicial procedure in which judges review classified evidence against a detainee who could be imprisoned for protracted periods, without formally being charged with a crime.
Moreover, a suspect’s attorney is not permitted to review the evidence, which critics argue is an affront to civil liberties since the attorney must argue for a client’s release without seeing the information behind the reason why he is jailed.
The measure is carried out in cases where the evidence convinces a judge the suspect may pose a danger to state security.
In one high-profile case last month, it was cited in the administrative detention of Jewish settler activist Meir Ettinger, suspected of being part of an “extremist infrastructure” which may be linked to the deadly arson attack on a Palestinian home in the village of Duma.
More recently, a Nazareth District Court approved the administrative detention of a 19-year-old woman from northern Israel who sent a text message to people close to her saying she wanted “to be a shahid [martyr].”
Sur Bahir last made headlines during Rosh Hashana when a rock attack from an overpass there led to the death of motorist Alexander Levlovitz, 64, who was driving to his home in neighboring Armon Hanatziv with his two daughters.
Four Palestinian teenage suspects from Sur Bahir have been indicted for the attack on a combination of charges including manslaughter, causing serious bodily harm, endangering lives on a roadway, disturbing police under aggravated circumstances, incitement, and constructing a weapon.
Levlovitz lost control of his car on Rosh Hashana Eve after it was struck by rocks thrown by the defendants on Asher Viner Street in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood of the capital, adjacent to the Arab neighborhood of Sur Bahir, while driving home from dinner, said the indictment.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said at the time of the indictment that several rocks were thrown at the vehicle, and that “as a result, the man lost control of the car and was critically injured when it struck a tree.”
Israeli media have quoted the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) as saying that Mahmoud Abed Rabbo Doiat, the main suspect, has admitted to throwing the large rock that led to Levlovitz’s death. They said that during the attack, Doiat was draped in a Hamas flag he received earlier in the month at an “Al-Aksa is in Danger” demonstration.
Police said no other attacks were reported on Sunday in the capital amid ongoing heightened security.