3 Palestinians arrested on suspicion of setting West Bank fires


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Three Palestinians were arrested on suspicion of carrying out arson attacks in the West Bank during last month’s forest fires.

The three men were arrested on Nov. 26 in a joint operation of the Israel Defense Forces, the Israel Police and the Shin Bet security service, the Shin Bet said in a statement released on Sunday. The arrests had been under a gag order.

The three men, Hamdan Tzakar Hamdan Lami, 19; Jouad Muhammad Fayiz Daher, 19, and Vizid Ahmed Hamdan Lami, 24, are residents of the West Bank village of Iskaka, and are suspected of carrying out arson attacks near their village and near the southern approach to the city of Ariel in the northern West Bank.

The IDF investigation determined that the three had committed arson with nationalistic motives.

Three suspects were filmed by security cameras on Nov. 25 attempting to start a fire outside of Ariel, according to The Times of Israel.

Police officials have said they suspect arson in 29 of the 39 major fires, and in about one-third of the 90 total fires they investigated. There are no suspects in the large fires in Haifa and Zichron Yaakov, nor clear proof of arson.

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