Israeli Police Find Evidence Linking Arab Suspect With Firebombing of Jaffa Home

A 12-year-old Arab boy was seriously wounded in the incident ■ Suspect believed to have mistaken an Arab-owned home for a Jewish-owned one

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The Jaffa home attacked with a firebomb last week.
The Jaffa home attacked with a firebomb last week.Credit: אורן זיו

The police have scientific evidence linking an Arab man suspected of throwing a firebomb at a Jaffa home that seriously wounded a 12-year-old Arab boy, Mohammad Gintazi, on Friday night.

The suspect is an Arab resident of Jaffa in his 30s with a criminal record, mostly for property crimes, Haaretz has learned. Police investigators suspect he acted in cooperation with at least one partner, and was filmed by a number of security cameras near the scene.

The man was arrested over a decade ago carrying a bottle suspected of being a firebomb, and had told investigators that the bottle was needed in case his motorbike ran out of gas. A year later, he was put on probation after being convicted of a number of property crimes.

He is a member of a well-known family in Jaffa that was removed a few years ago from property it was trespassing on after a court decision and a request by the Israel Lands Authority. A possible connection between the throwing of the firebomb on Friday and the long battle between the family and state authorities is now being investigated.

Police suspect the two suspects threw at least four firebombs at houses in the area because they thought they belonged to Jews. The Shin Bet also issued an order keeping the key suspect from meeting with his lawyer, Sharon Keinan, because of his involvement in security crimes. His detention was extended Tuesday for nine more days.

Last week, Magen David Adom emergency services evacuated Mohammad, who at the time was in a moderate condition with burns on his upper body. His 10-year-old sister was lightly injured in the head.

Mohammad was put into an induced coma, but his condition has since improved, the Sheba Medical Center said, now classified as somewhere between moderate and serious.

The direction of the investigation intensified after it was discovered that in addition to the Gintazi family's home, Molotov cocktails were thrown at four other Jewish homes in the neighborhood. According to neighbors, diplomats a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a house where diplomats live nearby.

The children's father told Haaretz that he had a hard time believing that the person who attacked his family was Arab, and that he was misidentified by police. He said their home was decorated with crescents for the holiday of Ramadan.

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