Bat Ayin
Bat AyinFlash 90

The police decided on Wednesday to release one of three Jewish youths who were arrested on suspicion of involvement in a firebomb attack on an Arab taxi.

However, the Honenu legal aid organization told Arutz Sheva that at the same time the police had violated the rights of the two other youths.

Judea and Samaria police arrested the three on Sunday. The suspects are residents of the Etzion Bloc community of Bat Ayin, aged just 12 and 13.

Six people were injured in the attack, two of them seriously. The taxi was carrying a family of five.

Honenu said that in an unusual step, the police decided to forbid an attorney to meet with the other two youths.

“Anytime it seems that there are developments which will play in the detainees’ favor, the police take another step in the breach of rights campaign which it carries out against detainees,” said the organization.

“We see this as very serious and we will work vigorously to stop this behavior of the Israeli police,” added Honenu.

Honenu reported last week that Shin Bet and special Yasam police forces entered the homes of several Bat Ayin residents on the night after the firebomb attack, but arrested no one that night. They reportedly went to the homes of three teenage boys ages 13-14 and issued stern warnings to the teens, telling them, “We know what you’re doing.”

Last week, a youth from Bat Ayin was arrested and freed several hours later. The youth and his parents said that he was suspected of throwing the firebomb.

Etzion bloc residents noted that the site of the attack is one where Arabs often attack Jewish vehicles with rocks and firebombs, and said the assumption that the attackers were Jews is unjustified. Other observers noted that taxis serving Palestinian Authority Arabs are painted a distinctive yellow and that it is unlikely an Arab terrorist would have mistaken the taxi for a vehicle carrying Jews.

Honenu has reported in the past of police violations of the basic rights of nationalist citizens that are arrested.

A 49-year-old kashrut supervisor recently filed a complaint with the Police Investigations Department after he and his wife were detained in Jerusalem. The man was suspected of involvement with vandalizing Arab property six months earlier.

Eyewitnesses said that the police conducted themselves very violently during the arrest.