Three Israeli Minors Charged for Revenge Arson Attack, Graffiti

Two of the three set out to damage Palestinian property in revenge for the Sarona attack in June, while the third failed to prevent a crime.

The two vehicles set ablaze in an arson attack in Yafi'a, northern Israel, June 10, 2016

Three minors, all yeshiva students, were indicted in the Haifa District Juvenile Court on Tuesday in connection with setting fire to cars and spraying hate graffiti in Nazareth and the Arab village of Yafia in early June.

Two of the accused were charged with the deliberate destruction of a vehicle for racist reasons, arson and interfering with the legal process, while the third was charged with failing to prevent a crime.

The three were arrested on July 10. Two of them were denied a meeting with an attorney for three days.

According to the indictment, the crimes committed by the minors were in revenge for the terror attack on Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market on June 8, in which four people were killed.

On the afternoon of June 9, one of them placed a knapsack containing a bottle of benzene, spray paint, a hoodie and gloves in a wooded area near the yeshiva in which they studied.

Graffiti saying 'Revenge of the victims of Tel Aviv,' sprayed on a truck in Yafi'a, northern Israel, on June 10, 2016.

That night, two of them set our for Yafia, while the third kept watch outside the yeshiva. He was told by the other two to report their absence to the yeshiva if they didn’t return in about two hours.

Arriving at a parking lot in the village, the two sprayed “price tag,” “revenge” and “revenge for those murdered in Tel Aviv” on three trucks that were parked there. One of the two also poured benzene on a car and it alight. The car was totally destroyed and a second car was partially damaged.

The minors are being represented by attorney Lior Bar Zohar of Honenu, a nonprofit organization providing legal aid to Jews suspected of violent attacks against Palestinians. He told Haaretz that the initial charge of membership in a terror organization, a more serious crime, had been withdrawn.

“We said from the start that they had only been accused of membership in a terror organization in order to undermine their rights – and that turned out to be correct,” Bar Zohar said. “After the fact it turns out that there is no evidence of serious security crimes and their rights were flouted without any real reason.”