Police arrested seven Arab family members from the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina on the suspicion of blackmailing, stealing, and attacking a number of people in connection with commercial and land disputes.
The incidents started a few months ago when the family in question was sued for illegally setting up car wash businesses on land north of the city that they did not own. The suspected family began to blackmail the land owners that sued them, according to a police investigation. After the municipality served them with an eviction order, further investigation revealed that the family had set up additional car wash businesses on other land they did not own north of Jerusalem. The family allegedly went to three east Jerusalem lawyers to represent them in their fight against the eviction notice, but the family started blackmailing the lawyers for hundreds of thousands of shekels when they felt that the lawyers were "not delivering the goods."
The family was also suspected of a variety of robberies and thefts both in Jerusalem and around the country. The seven were remanded at the Jerusalem Magistrate Court on Sunday. Three of them will be detained until Wednesday while the investigation continues.