2 Jewish teens held for J'lem stabbing

Both suspects are minors; police still searching for prime suspect in attack on east Jerusalem resident.

police 224.88 (photo credit: Israel Police)
police 224.88
(photo credit: Israel Police)
Two Jewish teens were arrested Thursday for alleged involvement in the stabbing of an Arab resident of east Jerusalem a day earlier, police said. The two 17-year-old suspects, who could not be named because they are minors, are haredi residents of the Beit Yisrael neighborhood. Police believe that the two were involved in the Wednesday-morning stabbing of 31-year-old Wadi Joz resident Hamad Hamad in Mea She'arim. Hamad, who was seriously wounded in the attack, was in stable condition Thursday at a Jerusalem hospital. A manhunt is still under way for the prime suspects in the attack, which police said was apparently ideologically motivated. Hamad told police investigators that he had been making his way home when four young Jews wearing kippot approached him and asked him for the time - apparently to verify that he was an Arab - before repeatedly stabbing him in the back. The suspected attackers then fled the scene. The east Jerusalem resident managed to walk for a while after being stabbed and eventually encountered several police officers, who summoned an ambulance. Jerusalem Police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said Thursday that it was not immediately clear whether the two suspects arrested had been among the four attackers, and that their alleged involvement in the attack was "under investigation." A Jerusalem court remanded the suspects for four days. Police suspect that the attackers were haredi yeshiva high school students. The attack came amid rising Jewish-Palestinian tensions in Hebron over the disputed Beit Hashalom property. Earlier this year, eight Jewish teens from Jerusalem were arrested for allegedly stabbing and assaulting three Arab teens and planning further hate-motivated attacks in the city. Arabs make up approximately one-third of the city's residents. Jewish attacks on Arabs in the city are rare.