Israelis Suspected of Torching Palestinian Factory Say They Were Attacked

West Bank factory owner says he found gas canister after pursuing fleeing car, as suspects' lawyer says they just happened to be in the area and were uninvolved

הגר שיזף
Hagar Shezaf
Ghassan Damidi in his factory, Thursday.
Ghassan Damidi in his factory, Thursday.
הגר שיזף
Hagar Shezaf

Three Jewish youths are suspected of torching a Palestinian factory in the West Bank before dawn on Thursday, police said.

Police are investigating a claim by two of the suspects that they were attacked by Palestinians near the factory, but suspect that they were injured as they fled the scene.

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The third suspect received medical treatment at a hospital, where he was arrested and transferred to the Shin Bet security service for interrogation.

Details of the case have been placed under a gag order.

Ghassan Damidi, the owner of the marble factory in the village of Jamma’in, told Haaretz that around 2:30 A.M., while he was at home, he was informed that the factory was on fire after a car drove into it. He said that when he arrived at the scene, he saw a car speeding away.

When he pursued the car, it crashed into a cart that was on the side of the road, wounding one of those inside while the other two fled, he said. He added that he had found a gas canister at the scene.

Damidi estimated the damages at approximately 3 million shekels ($920,000).

Honenu, a right-wing legal-aid organization representing the three suspects, said the three had nothing to do with the blaze but happened to pass by the village of Jamma’in because they wanted to take a shortcut.

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