Eight arrested in connection with murder of Yigal Yehoshua in Lod riots

Six of the suspects are Arab Israelis, two are Palestinian residents of Judea and Samaria; Seven face indictment for aggravated murder.

By JNS.org

Eight suspects have been arrested in connection with the murder of a Jewish Israeli man in Lod last month during the Arab riots that rocked cities throughout the country, the Israel Police said in a statement on Sunday.

Six of the suspects are Arab-Israeli residents of Lod, while two are Palestinian residents of Judea and Samaria, according to police. The suspects, who range in age from 20 to 51, were taken into custody over the past several weeks.

Seven of the suspects are to be indicted for aggravated murder, according to police, while according to Israeli media reports the eighth man faces lesser charges of obstructing the investigation.

The incident which led to the death of 56-year-old Lod resident Yigal Yehoshua occurred in the evening of May 11 during the Arab riots which engulfed the city in parallel with Israel’s “Operation Guardian of the Walls” against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

According to police, the suspects decided “to throw rocks at vehicles of innocent Jews that happened to pass in the area, out of racist and nationalist motives.”

When Yehoshua’s vehicle passed, “they stoned him … with great force and at very close range,” said police. One of the stones penetrated his car’s window, critically wounding him. Yehoshua had been on his way home from a Torah-scroll dedication in a nearby moshav.

The investigation also revealed the suspects attempted to hide their involvement in the attack, said police, who added that several of the suspects were linked to other  stoning incidents in Lod targeting Jews.

Yehoshua died of his wounds on May 17.

“He managed to drive to the house, and even tried to park, but he hit some vehicles,” his wife Irena told Channel 12, adding that while neighbors called an ambulance, she approached the driver’s side of the car and saw the “window shattered and his shirt soaked in blood.”

Yehoshua was rushed to the Sharon Medical Center (Assaf Harofeh Hospital), where he spent the following six days fighting for his life.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett commended the Israel Police and Israel Security Agency on the apprehension of the suspects, calling Yehoshua’s murder “abhorrent.”

“Let every enemy and terrorist who tries to attack us know that the State of Israel will lay its hands on every vile criminal sooner or later and bring him to justice,” He said, according to a statement from his office.