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Arab Israelis, Palestinians Charged with Murder of Jew

Arab Israelis, Palestinians Charged with Murder of Jew

Thursday, 24 June, 2021 - 10:15
Israeli police made dozens of arrests in the mixed Jewish-Arab city of Lod when deadly intercommunal violence erupted during last month's Gaza conflict - AFP

Five Arab Israelis and two Palestinians were charged Thursday with the "racially motivated" murder of an Israeli Jew, whose car was stoned during riots that accompanied last month's Gaza conflict.

The May 11 killing of Yigal Yehoshua, 57, a resident of the mixed Jewish-Arab city of Lod, came a day after Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas began firing rockets at Israel following clashes in annexed east Jerusalem between police and Palestinians.

Israel pummeled the densely populated Palestinian enclave with retaliatory air strikes, prompting Arab riots in several Israeli cities, including Lod, and clashes with far-right Jewish extremists, AFP reported.

On May 10, Mussa Hassuna, an Arab Israeli resident of Lod, was shot dead after allegedly throwing stones at Jews in the city.

Following Hassuna's funeral, Arab youths lit fires at the side of the road in an industrial part of the city "to force vehicles to slow down", to be able to identify the ethnicity of their drivers.

"Once the youths confirmed that there were Jews in the car, they informed the defendants and others so those would stone it," the charge sheet said.

According to the charges, the seven defendants -- one of them a relative of Hassuna -- identified motorist Yehoshua as being Jewish, and "threw stones with force and from a short range at his car".

One of the stones allegedly broke through the windscreen and hit Yehoshua in the head, crushing his skull and causing "severe brain damage", the charge sheet said. He died six days later.

The seven, who are all in custody, were charged with "murder as part of an act of terror".

They were also charged with "throwing stones in an act of terror", "racially motivated damage to a car," as well as obstructing the course of justice after trying to damage surveillance cameras.

The two Palestinians involved were also charged with being in Israel without a proper permit.

Several people were arrested in connection to the shooting of Mussa Hassuna, but no charges have yet been filed.

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