Israeli Charged With Damaging Palestinian Property Amid Protests Over Teen's Death

18-year-old indicted for attacking property after demonstration over the death of a settler teen chased by Israeli police after allegedly throwing stones at Palestinians

Josh Breiner
Josh Breiner
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A protest over the death of Ahuvia Sandak, in Jerusalem, January 2, 2021.
A protest over the death of Ahuvia Sandak, in Jerusalem, January 2, 2021.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg
Josh Breiner
Josh Breiner

An 18-year-old Israeli was charged on Sunday with damaging Palestinian property because of anger over the death in a West Bank police chase of a teenager suspected of throwing stones at Palestinians.

Jerusalem resident Yehuda Bnayahu’s indictment was the first to be made in connection with demonstrations that have erupted over the death last month of 16-year-old Ahuvia Sandak.

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According to the indictment, the damage to cars and other property in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem was motivated by racism and committed by Binayahu and 20 other, still unidentified individuals, who also tried to physically harm Palestinians. The police said Binayahu had confessed and that they had video of the events. The prosecution is asking that he be detained until the end of legal proceedings.

The indictment alleged that after a demonstration in Jerusalem, Binayahu walked with other demonstrators to the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in order to damage property. They allegedly approached a health clinic in the neighborhood and threw large stones at the building and vehicles that were parked there, causing extensive damage.

After this, the indictment said, Binayahu and unknown youth stopped a van “to determine if [the driver] was an Arab.” When the two got the impression that he was, Binayahu threw stones at the vehicle until the driver fled, and when another vehicle appeared, the youths asked the driver if he was an Arab, according to the indictment. Allegedly, when the driver said he was, they started to curse him, kick his vehicle and pelted it with stones, damaging the front windshield.

Police said protests over Sandak’s death continued on Monday, with dozens gathering in Jerusalem to throw stones at cars, burn tires, and block traffic, damaging a public bus windshield. Three protesters were detained.

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