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Two Jewish men face terror charges for Huwara attack

The Samaria residents stand accused of assaulting Palestinians with an ax and stones.

Huwara, south of Nablus, Feb. 26, 2023. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90.
Huwara, south of Nablus, Feb. 26, 2023. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90.

An indictment was filed on Thursday against two Jewish residents of Samaria for attacking Palestinians with an ax and stones in Huwara on March 6, during the Purim holiday.

Hanoch Akiva Rabin, 25, from Givat Ronen, and Raz Chaim Goron, 21, from Yitzhar, were arrested on March 13 and transferred to the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) for further questioning.

“The two suspects belong to a violent group that works to harm Palestinians as well as to disrupt the activities of the security forces in dealing with thwarting Palestinian terrorism and maintaining public peace in the sector,” the Israel Police and Shin Bet said in a statement announcing the charges.

They are charged with terror-related offenses for the alleged attacks, which were caught on surveillance videos showing masked men targeting residents of Huwara.

Also on Thursday, National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir met with the parents of those accused of violence in Huwara, calling for their release from administrative detention where they were placed at the order of Defense Minister Yoav Gallant after their arrests.

“To me, it’s undemocratic to arrest a person and then throw him in jail without evidence or a trial,” Ben-Gvir said, according to a statement from his office.

Palestinians have perpetrated three terrorist attacks in Huwara recently.

On March 25, Palestinian terrorists shot at a military post from a passing vehicle in the village. The wounded soldiers were evacuated to the hospital, with one in serious and the other in moderate condition.

On Feb. 26, Israeli brothers Hallel Menachem and Yagel Yaakov Yaniv were killed in Huwara, shot while sitting in their car at a junction on the Route 60 highway. This was followed by another shooting on March 19 at the same junction, which seriously wounded a dual Israeli-U.S. citizen, David Stern, 41.

Dozens of Arab stone-throwers pelted Jewish drivers traveling through Huwara on Monday of this week. Israeli soldiers arrived but failed to bring the rioters under control. Instead, police targeted local Jewish residents who came to help.

On the day the Yaniv brothers were murdered, revenge rioting by Jews was subsequently reported in Huwara. According to Palestinian media, a few hundred Jews took part in the vigilante activity, with some setting fire to Palestinian property and engaging in clashes with local Arabs.

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