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Yeshiva student arrested after Arab provocation

Sunday, March 25, 9:36 Arabs from the Burqa village near the Oz Tzion outpost approached the outpost yesterday (Shabbat) and assaulted residents. The residents defended themselves and attempted to drive away the assailants. Until the army arrived the residents chased the assailants to their village. Just after Shabbat the police arrested a yeshiva student in the outpost claiming that he had opened fire on the rioting Arabs. Yesterday in the early afternoon four Arabs from the Burqa village approached the nearby Oz Tzion outpost. As they approached 30-40 Arabs waited in several vehicles at the outskirts of the village armed with clubs. The Arabs attempted to cause a clash with the residents of the outpost and one of them who had already come close to the outpost called out to the other Arabs who were waiting. The Arabs began to drive up to the outpost and then exited their vehicles and advanced towards the outpost on foot while throwing rocks. The residents of the outpost threw rocks back at their assailants in order to prevent their advancement. During the skirmish the army arrived, dispersed the rioting Arabs and then chased them to their village. At this time no arrests among the rioting Arabs have been reported. The Arabs claimed that one of the rioters was injured by gunfire from one of the residents. In response after Shabbat the police arrested a 19 year old yeshiva student who had spent Shabbat at the outpost whom they claim had opened fire. The student was taken to the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police for interrogation. According to the Arabs the injured man was not injured by a direct hit rather by shrapnel and he was not evacuated to hospital for medical treatment.

In a conversation with Honenu attorney Adi Kedar the arrestee reported that he was not on the scene at the time of the clash and that he does not possess any firearms. This is not the first time that a victim of Arab assault has himself been suspected of assault. Over a year ago residents of the Arak Burin village near the community of Har Bracha in the Shomron reported that a resident of the village had been shot and killed by a settler. Security cameras on a nearby guard post showed that two Arabs threw rocks from extremely close range at a Jewish youth walking in the area after they succeeded in capturing him. The youth drew his pistol and shot one of them. The second assailant immediately fled the scene. The Yehuda and Shomron Police reported that the shooter had acted properly and opened fire in self defense as his life was in danger. Despite that the police searched for the shooter for several months. Many residents of the area who own a Glock pistol identical to the one which had been used in the shooting were arrested in raids and investigated on suspicion of involvement with the incident. Their personal weapons were taken for ballistic tests to determine if one of them had been used. After several months the police arrested a resident of Alon Shevut on suspicion of shooting. The suspect admitted to the act and claimed that he acted in self defense. Despite the demand by the police to extend his remand, on a difficult to understand claim of him posing a danger to the public and interfering with the investigation, the court ordered him released. Also last week Honenu reported that a Jewish youth was assaulted by three Arabs and suffered a head injury. Police who arrived on the scene arrested the youth on suspicion of slaughtering a sheep from the Arabs’ flock; the youth denied all charges. The police refused to arrest any of the Arab assailants despite the arrestee’s injury. The arrestee was interrogated for several hours and only two hours after completion of the interrogation was he taken to hospital for medical treatment which included stitches on his head. After medical treatment the arrestee was taken into remand.

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