Police arrest Jaffa firebomb suspects

Ajami neighborhood residents targeting Jewish homes allegedly torched Arab family’s residence by mistake, injuring a 12-year-old-boy.

By Howard M. Riell

Security forces took three Arab suspects into custody Wednesday for the firebombing last month of an Arab family’s home in Jaffa that seriously injured a 12-year-old boy.

According to the authorities, all three of the suspects lived in the same neighborhood as their unintended victims. The arrests were made by the Shin Bet domestic security service in concert with local police. Indictments will reportedly follow soon.

The chilling video footage from nearby security cameras captured two of the suspects scurrying back and forth down an alley in front of the home before igniting and hurling the Molotov cocktail into the house, then sprinting away. It reportedly went through a window in the living room, where the family was sitting.

The suspects’ goal, said Shin Bet officials, was to target Jewish-owned homes in retaliation for recent unrest on the Temple Mount and in Lod. “After the suspects realized they had made a mistake, they ran from the scene despite their plan to firebomb other Jewish-owned properties in the area,” an official told the press.

The alleged attackers also maintained an arsenal aside from the incendiary device, authorities added.

“My children were right by the window,” homeowner Sabri Jantazi told Ynet. “Suddenly, someone threw a Molotov cocktail through the window and burned our living room. My son has sustained severe burns to his face, while his sister was only lightly injured.”

The 12-year-old victim, Mohammed Jantazi, was rushed to a local hospital and treated for severe burns. Also injured in the attack was his younger sister, whose name was not released by authorities.

Interestingly, Jantazi seemed to reject the possibility that the attackers were fellow Arabs. In an interview shortly after the incident, he reasoned, “An Arab does not burn an Arab and a Jew does not burn a Jew. We had [Eid al-Fitr] lights at the window, that’s a sign that we are Arabs, and they still threw the Molotov cocktail.”