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Police on Sunday night arrested nine people suspected of nationally motivated attacks Arab residents of Upper Nazareth and their property.

Seven of the suspects are between the ages of 15 and 18, and two more are 22 years old.

The group is suspected of physically assaulting Arab residents of the city, torching cars belonging to Arabs and trying to set fire to their homes. Police said the investigation has been going on for several months.

The suspects were expected to attend a remand-extension hearing Monday at a Nazareth court.

Northern District Police commander Shimon Koren said police will do everything possible to prevent similar attacks, regardless of religion, race or gender.

Upper Nazareth has a population of 50,000, out of which 10,000 are Arabs. Tensions had escalated in the city during Israel's three-week offensive in Gaza, which ended on January 17.