Rabbi of Bat Ayin Settlement Condemns Attack on Palestinian Taxi

Rabbi Daniel Cohen of the West Bank settlement of Bat Ayin says the alleged hurling of a fire bomb at a Palestinian taxi by boys from his settlement is a 'crime.'

The rabbi of the West Bank settlement of Bat Ayin on Thursday condemned an incident in which boys from his settlement allegedly threw a fire bomb at a Palestinian taxi, which wounded six family members from Nahalin.

In a letter to the residents of the settlement, Rabbi Daniel Cohen wrote that he hopes that the settlement's children are found to be innocent but that an attack on innocent bystanders was blasphemy and was against the will of God.

Three boys, aged 12 and 13, were arrested in the wake of the attack last week. The three suspects have decided to reserve the right to silence, however their attorneys claim they are not linked to the crime.

The rabbi added, "An act of this kind was a crime, and furthermore, it constituted a moral downslide into the abyss that does not separate murder from self defense, war from terrorism.

And this is all before it is even determined whether or not the attacker came from within our midst. The fact that suspicions were aroused and arrests were made requires that we engage in soul searching," he said. "Tthese acts are forbidden and obscene! They are indicative of confusion and a lack in judgment."

In his letter, the rabbi called on the settlement's children to enlist in the army and enroll in a yeshiva. "Don't be led astray by ideas that incite you to do evil. Build yourselves with study and work, build our country with dedication and labor, join a yeshiva or the army."

"It is okay to protest the government distortions but only legally," Cohen stressed. "Dealing with our enemies should only be done by collective means."

On Thursday, one of the children was released from custody. The other two will be brought in front of a judge at Jerusalem's Magistrate's Court, who instructed that they are to be released unless there are substantial developments in the investigation.