JERUSALEM (JTA) — The groom from the wedding where Jewish revelers were captured on video celebrating the deaths of members of a Palestinian family in a firebombing reportedly has been arrested.
The arrest of Yakir Ashbal brings to four the number of wedding celebrants who were arrested Tuesday, according to reports in the Israeli media. A hearing on their remand is scheduled for Wednesday morning. More arrests are expected.
Ashbal told Israel’s Channel 10 last week after the release of the video that he did not see the activity captured on camera at his wedding, which had 600 guests.
“At my wedding I was in the clouds, not on the ground at all,” he told Channel 10. “I don’t control what happens at my wedding. I’m just the groom.”
The video, which was filmed at a Jerusalem wedding earlier in the month, shows friends of the suspected assailants in the July attack on a home in the Palestinian village of Duma that killed three members of the Dawabshe family — a toddler and his parents.
The party-goers are stabbing a photo of the Palestinian family and wave knives, rifles, pistols and Molotov cocktails. They also chant the words to a song that includes a verse from Judges 16:28, in which Samson says, “Let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” The crowd substitutes “Palestinians” for Philistines.
Those celebrating the family’s deaths in the video have been condemned from across Israel’s political and religious spectrum.
Police in the West Bank said last week that an investigation was launched several days ago “into the many serious offenses displayed in the wedding video,” Ynet reported. The investigation is being handled by the Nationalistically Motivated Crimes Unit of the West Bank police.