Arrestee suspected of burning vehicle in Nabi Elias released

Sunday, February 19, 16:56 Honenu reports that the Yitzhar resident arrested last week on suspicion of setting a vehicle on fire in the Arab village of Nabi Elias in the Shomron was released this morning. To reiterate, last Thursday Arab residents of Nabi Elias reported that a vehicle in their village was burnt and that graffiti was spray-painted at the scene. (See here.) Also the residents claimed that they identified a vehicle suspected of being involved with the incident. The police checked the number of the vehicle and located its owner. Early in the morning police forces raided the home of the vehicle’s owner, a Yitzhar resident. The forces entered the house without authorization, asked the resident to identify himself and after he did so, they informed him that he was under arrest. Within a short period of time the police announced to the media that a “price tag” incident had occurred in Nabi Elias and that one suspect was arrested. The arrestee was taken to the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police in Ma’aleh Adumim and interrogated there on suspicion of involvement with the vehicular arson. During the interrogation the arrestee said that he had been at home all night and is not connected in any way to the incident. During the day the arrestee was brought to the Jerusalem Magistrate Court before Judge Eilata Ziskind. Despite the demand by the police for a five day remand the judge extended his remand by only four days, reasoning that the evidence was quite weak. This morning the police reached a decision to release him without an additional deliberation on condition that he remain under house arrest for five days at his home in Yitzhar. Honenu attorney Adi Kedar, who represented the suspect, agreed to the conditional release and reports that, “After the suspect gave testimony the sides conducted negotiations at the end of which the conditional release was agreed. This indicates that the investigating authorities understood that the suspect is not involved in any way with the incident, if Arab residents reported his vehicle number.”

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