JERUSALEM (JTA) — At least three participants in a wedding where Jewish revelers were captured on video celebrating the deaths of members of a Palestinian family in a firebombing were set to be released from police detention.
Among those who were to be released on Thursday evening was the groom, Yakir Ashbal, according to Israeli media reports. The men were arrested Tuesday.
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 Jerusalem wedding, which had 600 guests.
“At my wedding I was in the clouds, not on the ground at all,” he told Channel 10 of the affair earlier this month. “I don’t control what happens at my wedding. I’m just the groom.”
The video 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 — stabbing a photo of the family and waving knives, rifles, pistols and Molotov cocktails. The revelers 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 shown in the video celebrating the deaths 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.