JERUSALEM (JTA) — Four Palestinian teens were arrested in connection with a Rosh Hashanah eve rock attack that left a Jewish-Israeli man dead.
The Shin Bet security service announced the arrests on Saturday night. The teens, aged 16 to 19, are from eastern Jerusalem and have Israeli identification cards, Ynet reported, citing the Shin Bet. They admitted during questioning to throwing rocks at cars on Rosh Hashanah eve and said that they went out that evening with the purpose of throwing rocks, according to the report.
Alexander Levlovich, 64, died hours after his car was pelted with rocks in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Armon Hanatziv. The rocks smashing into his car caused Levlovich, who was returning home from a holiday dinner, to lose control of the vehicle and smash into a pole. The teens reportedly then fled the scene.
“This attack, with its dire consequences, illustrates the level of the threat from popular terror activities, with the emphasis on stone-throwing in Jerusalem,” the Shin Bet said in its statement, according to Haaretz. “It demonstrates the need for stricter penalties for stone throwers, including clarity on the punishment of minors involved in such activities.”
On Thursday night, Israel’s Security Cabinet approved harsher measures against rock throwers, including open fire orders, minimum prison sentences, increased fines, and minimum fines on minors and their parents.
The incident came amid an increase in clashes between security forces and Muslim worshippers on the Temple Mount.