Police arrest 2 more in Haifa soldier attack

New arrests bring total number of suspects to nine; police request remand extension to continue investigating the incident.

hospitalized soldier at Rambam, Haifa_150 (photo credit: Channel 10)
hospitalized soldier at Rambam, Haifa_150
(photo credit: Channel 10)
Police arrested two additional suspects in Haifa for the brutal assault of two off duty soldiers near a hospital in the seaside city, bringing the total number of arrests to nine.
Police have requested from a Haifa court to extend the remand of the suspects, who were described as Arab-Israeli men in their 20s.
The arrests come after the Haifa Magistrate's Court ruled in favor of extending the remands of six other suspects on Sunday, when the seventh suspect was also arrested.
The men stand accused of attacking the soldiers, who were dressed in civilian clothing at the time, just outside the Rambam Medical Center in an incident a judge presiding over the case compared to the 2000 beating to death of two IDF soldiers in Ramallah.
Although the suspects claimed during questioning that the attack was a case of mistaken identity, the police representative to the court argued that the attack bore hallmarks of a nationalistically motivated incident.
During questioning at a Haifa police station last Sunday, the suspects denied targeting Jews, saying that rocks had been thrown at their home adjacent to the Rambam Medical Center, and that they had set out to see who was behind the attack.
Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.