Menu JTA Search

Suspect Held in the Murder of a Peace Now Activist

A suspect in the grenade murder of Peace Now activist Emil Grunzweig last Febrary was remanded in custody for 15 days by a Jerusalem magistrate yesterday. Three other suspects arrested last weekend were released after questioning.

The man being held was not identified by name. He was described as being in his twenties, the father of two children and a resident of Kiryat Arba, the Gush Emunim stronghold adjacent to Hebron. He reportedly denied any connection with the murder of Grunzweig, a 33 year-old mathematics instructor.

Grunzweig was killed when an unidentified person hurled a live grenade into a small group of demonstrators outside the Prime Minister’s Office. They were demanding the resignation or dismissal of former Defense Minister Ariel Sharon in compliance with the recommendations of the special commission which investigated the massacre of Palestinians last September in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in west Beirut.

TWO MEN HAVE ALIBIS

Three Kiryat Arba men were arrested for questioning last Saturday night and another was arrested early Sunday. Two, identified as Yitzhak Maoz and Mark Caspi, were released after two hours when they were able to establish alibis for the time of the murder. The third man, freed Monday was not identified. But the fourth man was remanded in custody after police submitted a confidential report to the court.

The suspect was quoted as saying, “I am a religious man and I detest violence … I think I was not in Jerusalem on that day, ” the day of the murder. He also denied any connection with other persons allegedly involved in the crime.

Judge Uzi Sivan barred the release of any further information to the media on grounds that the police should be left to conduct their investgation without hindrance. Jerusalem police have come under strong criticism lately for their failure to find Grunzweig’s killer after three months of investigation into a crime that shocked the nation. Senior police officials insist that the investigation is being conducted energetically and that a substantial amount of manpower has been assigned to it.

The media called the arrests last weekend a “major breakthrough. ” But police officials tended to play down its importance, noting that some 500 persons have been questioned to date and released for lack of evidence. Several dozen suspects have been detained for a time but all were subsequently released.

NEXT STORY