Arab worker arrested after threatening to run down Israelis

PA worker in haredi town arrested after social media comments suggesting he planned to run down Israelis with a tractor.

David Rosenberg ,

Arab construction workers in Beitar Illit
Arab construction workers in Beitar Illit

A Palestinian Authority resident employed in the haredi town of Beitar Illit in Judea, south of Jerusalem, was arrested this week after he posted a message on social media apparently suggesting he may have planned to attack Israelis with a tractor.

The suspect, Khalawim Khalawi, was employed as a tractor operator in Beitar. Following complaints by locals who had seen the threats on social media, police located Khalawi at a Beitar construction site and took him into custody.

In a Facebook post, which was deleted after his arrest, Khalawi uploaded a picture of himself next to a tractor in Beitar, with the words “Hurt them”.

Police are investigating whether Khalawi’s comments reflected an actual plot to run down Israelis with the tractor, or if they were intended instead as anti-Semitic incitement, with the aim of encouraging others to commit attacks on Jews.

Khalawi’s Facebook page also featured the emblems of terrorist groups including the Fatah movement, a post memorializing Palestine Liberation Organization arch terrorist Yasser Arafat, and posts glorifying Arab stone-throwing terrorists.