Two Majdal Shams Residents Indicted Over Naksa Day Events

Israeli court indicts the two for aggravated assault and disorderly conduct after they hurled rocks at IDF soldiers last Sunday.

Two residents of the northern Druze village of Majdal Shams were indicted Thursday for aggravated assault of a public servant and disorderly conduct.

The Safed Magistrate's Court indicted Yasser Hanjar and Bayan Ouidat for hurling rocks at Israel Defense Forces soldiers during the scattering of Syrian protesters who tried to cross the border with Israel on Naksa Day last Sunday.

Syria Naksa Day - Reuters - June 5, 2011

Yasser Hanjar has been imprisoned in the past for committing offenses which harmed the security of the state.

Earlier on Thursday, two men and a teenager from Majdal Shams were arrested on suspicion for also hurling rocks at security forces during the Naksa Day events, which marked 44 years since the 1967 Six-Day War.

A senior official from the northern police unit told Haaretz that a special team was established in order to investigate the incidents of stone throwing that took place during the protests, which were held to mark the anniversary of the 1967 Six-Day War.

The official said he expects more arrests in the coming days. The police have been collecting photos and video recordings of the protests in order to identify the stone throwers.

"We are not afraid of a confrontation with the residents," a senior police official said, adding that the police were prepared to bring all stone-throwers to justice.

Residents of the village have expressed anger over the arrests and have warned about a potential escalation if the arrests continue.

"We feel like they are punishing us," a resident of the village who asked to remain unnamed said about the arrests.

Other residents of the village said that the stone throwing on Naksa Day only came in response to IDF shooting of protesters on the Syrian side of the border. Syria has reported that 23 people were killed in the clashes, but the IDF has disputed that number, saying that it is likely exaggerated and there is no way to verify it.