Police Arrest 14 Alleged 'Price Tag' Gang Members

Gag order lifted on arrests of Jewish minors made over the past week.

Jerusalem police last week arrested 14 minors suspected of belonging to a gang that carried out so-called "price tag," anti-Arab attacks in the city. The news of the arrest was only made public Sunday after a gag order on the case was lifted.

The suspects admitted to attacking drivers on Bar-Lev Road, a portion of Route One located in Jerusalem, hurling stones at buses whose drivers were Palestinian, setting a vehicle alight in the East Jerusalem neighborhood Sheikh Jarrah, and piercing tires.

The investigation began last week when two of the minors were caught vandalizing vehicles and detained by police with the aid of a local Sheikh Jarrah resident. The interrogation of the two led to the arrest of the other 12 suspects.

Police described one of the gang's modus operandi, saying that "in their investigation, [the youths] said the attacks and stone throwing took place after they staked out certain streets, identified Arab drivers and motorists (whether of private vehicles or buses), and, when these stopped at a red light, they would signal their friends, who started pelleting the vehicles with stones or opened the car doors to assault the driver or spit at him."

The police added that they know of 20 incidents the suspects were involved in, but believe that there were more.

The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court remanded 10 of the teenagers on Sunday. Three 13-year-old suspects were released under restrictions due to their young age. A fourth suspect aged 16 was also released under restrictions after the court rejected the police appeal on the matter.

Police said they expected more arrests in the case.

Four suspects were arrested last Sunday for allegedly smashing 15 gravestones in a Protestant cemetery on Jerusalem’s Mount Zion. They were apprehended by police officers on patrol in the area.

On Sunday, Christian activists held a demonstration that set off from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to the cemetery in protest of this act of vandalism and other attacks against Jerusalem Christians.