7 members of alleged Jewish terror cell indicted in Israel


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Seven members of an alleged Jewish terror cell were indicted Monday in an Israeli court.

An Israeli soldier and two minors were among those charged in Petach Tikvah District Court with setting Palestinian vehicles on fire, throwing firebombs at Palestinian homes and assaulting Palestinians in the West Bank, near Ramallah. The cell members also are accused of belonging to an illegal organization and causing grave bodily harm.

The accused terrorists were arrested earlier this month in a joint operation of the Shin Bet security services and the Israel Police.

In addition to confessing to the attacks in the Gush Talmonim area, some of the cell members reenacted their actions at the scenes of the attacks, the Shin Bet said.

The Shin Bet described the cell as “extreme and violent” and said it “systematically harmed Palestinians and their property, with full knowledge that human lives could be harmed, even after the result of the arson attack on a home in Duma.”

The July firebombing of a Palestinian home in that West Bank village killed a Palestinian baby and his parents, and seriously wounded his brother. The Shin Bet said the attack was an “inspiration” to the suspects.

The suspects have been identified as a soldier in the Netzah Yehuda infantry battalion whose name is under a gag order; Yisrael Shendrofi, from the settlement of Nahliel, and his brother Pinhas; Michael Kaplan from Beit Shemesh; Itamar Ben Aharon from Jerusalem; Shneor Dana from the settlement of Maale Efraim; and the two minors, whose names are being withheld from the public.

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