Four Arabs from East Jerusalem confessed to the rock attack on the Jewish New Year that led to the death of an Israeli motorist in Jerusalem. Israeli security forces arrested four Arabs from Tzur Baher in eastern Jerusalem on suspicion of the murder of Alexander Levlovich on Rosh Hashanah.
The suspects were identified as Mohammed Salah Mohammed Abu Khaf, 19, Walid Fares Mustapha Atrash, 19, Abed Mahmoud Abed Rabo Dawiat, 20, and a minor whose details are not permitted for publication. After interrogation by the Shin Bet, the Israeli internal security force, they admitted they had gone out that night with the intent to attack Jewish drivers at the busy intersection. Dawiat threw the rock from an overpass, which caused Levovich to lose control of his car and hit a tree. He had wrapped himself in a Hamas flag he had received at a rally in Umm al-Fahm for the al-Aqsa Mosque before the attack.
“During interrogation by the Shin Bet, the four admitted that they planned to carry out terrorist acts, especially on Rosh Hashanah, and positioned themselves so that they could throw stones at passing Israeli vehicles,” police said.
Levlovich was in the car with his two daughters, who were injured in the attack. His family issued a statement, thanking the security forces for arresting the suspects, but adding “the mission is not complete.”
“It is important to increase the punishment for rock-throwing and bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice because rocks murder,” the statement said.
Last week, Prime Minister Netanyahu led the cabinet in an initiative to pass legislation for stronger punishments for stone throwers. There has also been a change in the rules of engagement for police, permitting the use of small-caliber sniper rifles in life-threatening rock attacks.