Ten residents of Lod and Ramle have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in throwing fire bombs at a home belonging to a Jewish family in May, during Israel's latest round of fighting in Gaza.
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News of the arrests was cleared for publication on Thursday, and indictments are expected to be filed against the suspects next week.
The incident didn’t cause any injuries and only did slight damage to two apartments in the building.
An investigation was launched by the police and the Shin Bet security service, leading to the arrest of nine Lod residents, seven of them aged 18-22 – Jasar Abu Ziyad, Jalal Abu Ziyad, Nasar Abu Ziyad, Tilbeh Altouri, Rifat Altouri, Imsalem Altouri and Silman Afkeer – and two of them minors aged 16 and 17. Ramle resident Mustafa Badr, 18, was also detained.
In a joint announcement, the Israel Police and the Shin Bet said Jasar, Jalal and Nasar Abu Ziyad “got together with the intention of carrying out an attack on Jews in Lod following the violent events that took place in Lod,” referring to rioting in the city that preceded the incident. Together with Afkeer and Badr, they prepared the fire bombs, investigators alleged.
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Investigators said that a day before the incident, Abu Ziyad and Amsalem Altouri began scouting out areas for an attack while Tilbeh Altouri and one of the minors arrived in the neighborhood armed with five bottles, lit them and began throwing them at homes. Investigators said that while this was happening, Rifat Altouri acted as a lookout.
A Shin Bet source termed the incident unique compared to other acts of violence that occurred at the time in mixed Arab-Jewish cities, in that it was “not carried out in the heat of the moment or spontaneously – it was planned days ahead.” The incident also took place about a week after the rioting died down and was intended to rekindle the unrest, the source said.