Israel arrests Arab suspects in mob killing of Jewish man
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli police said Sunday they have arrested eight Arab suspects in the killing of an Israeli Jewish man during a wave of ethnic violence last month.
Yigal Yehoshua, 56, died after being pelted with rocks during clashes between Arabs and Jews in the mixed city of Lod.
Palestinian protesters and Israeli police in Jerusalem clashed on a nightly basis during the holy month of Ramadan in April and May over restrictions on public gatherings and attempts by settlers to evict dozens of Palestinian families. The clashes spread to a flashpoint holy site in Jerusalem, igniting mob violence in Israel’s mixed cities and an 11-day Gaza war.
In Lod and other mixed cities, groups of Jews and Arabs fought one another and rampaged through neighborhoods, torching cars and shops, and attacking anyone from the other side who crossed their path.
The police and Israel’s Shin Bet security agency said six Arab residents of Lod and two Palestinians from the West Bank were arrested on suspicion of hurling stones at Yehoshua’s car. He died from his injuries several days later, on May 17, and his kidney was donated to an Arab woman.
Israeli prosecutors plan to charge seven of the suspects with murder.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett congratulated the security forces. “Every enemy and terrorist that tries to hurt us must know — the state of Israel will put its hands on every wrongdoer sooner or later and will bring them to justice,” he said in a statement.
Israel’s Arab citizens account for around 20% of the population. They have citizenship and the right to vote but face widespread discrimination. They have close family ties to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza and largely identify with their cause, leading many Jewish Israelis to view them with suspicion.