Demand to detain Arab rioters

Wednesday, October 6, 2021, 18:57 On the Simhat Torah holiday (September 28), dozens of unmasked Arabs rioted in full view of soldiers near Havat Maon in the Southern Har Hevron region, threatening the lives of Jewish residents. The head of security of Havat Maon, who arrived at the scene with security forces, was attacked by the rioters and injured. He identified one suspect, who was detained by the army and released from the police station. No other rioters were detained at any of the riots.

Arab rioting, Southern Har Hevron; Video credit: Ayin LeTzion

The incidents involved a seasonal encampment of Arabs from Yatta for the grazing of their flocks, which has been set up with the assistance of the European Union and the Palestinian Authority for the past few years. Anarchists and anti-Zionist activists also routinely cause disturbances in the area, harassing Jewish residents and the army.

Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher filed a complaint with the GOC of the Central Command, Major-General Yehuda Fuchs, demanding that all of the Arab rioters be detained. In his complaint, Bleicher wrote that when the rioters recognized the head of security, approximately 30-40 Arabs attacked his vehicle and threw rocks at him. The front windshield was shattered and the head of security suffered injuries to his face and right arm. He identified one of the rioters, Naim Hamamda, who threw a rock at him and fled. The injured head of security called for the deputy battalion commander, who detained Hamamda. The head of security also identified additional attackers by name, among them Suleiman Salem Nasser Eladra, the father of B’tselem activist Bassel Eladra, and filed a complaint with the Hevron Police.

“To our shock, inexplicably and unacceptably, the suspect was released from the police station, without penalization! Additionally, despite the severity of the incident, we are unaware of any other detentions.”

Approximately one hour after the head of security was attacked, there was another serious disturbance, involving dozens of Arabs from the village of Tuwani, which included massive rock-throwing at IDF forces and residents of Havat Maon. A week ago, soldiers searching the village seized three crates of Molotov cocktails ready to be thrown.

The rioters wielded clubs and incessantly threw rocks. They brutally beat a Jewish resident of the area almost killing him, and “miraculously he escaped the attack alive.”

Many of the rioters were unmasked, and some of them are well-known. Twelve photographs of the terrorists from the time of the attack were sent with the complaint. As of now, it is not known whether or not there have been any detentions.

Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the head of security, leveled sharp criticism at the police and at the army: “This was a serious show of weakness in the face of dangerous terrorists. How can it be that not even one Arab rioter was detained in an incident such as this? The situation is even more difficult and raises hard feelings in light of the fact that the Israeli Police rushed to invest massive resources in widespread detentions of Jewish residents, many of whom were released in court after it was ruled that there was no evidence against them. This conduct sends a message of leniency to terrorists, who are not deterred from repeating their actions.”

Bleicher demanded that everything necessary be done, including intelligence gathering and special operations, in order to apprehend the terrorists and bring them to justice.

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