Gang That Attacked Har Hazeisim Visitors Busted

YERUSHALAYIM -
The bus which caught fire from molotov cocktails at a roundabout in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras al Amud, near Mount of Olives, on September 17, 2015. A bus driver took a wrong turn, got into the Palestinian neighborhood and his bus was attacked by molotov cocktails. The bus was empty of passengers and the driver left the bus before it caught fire, unharmed. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90
The bus that caught fire from molotov cocktails thrown at a roundabout in the East Yerushalayim neighborhood of Ras al Amud, near Har Hazeisim, on Sept. 17, 2015. A bus driver took a wrong turn and his bus was attacked. The bus was empty of passengers and the driver left the bus, unharmed, before it caught fire. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Security officials said Monday that they had uncovered a major terrorist organization in East Yerushalayim. The terror gang, based in the Ras al-Amud neighborhood, was responsible for a large number of rock, firebomb, and stabbing attacks, police and Shin Bet investigators said.

The gang was involved in attacks on police, soldiers and civilians. In addition, they have been terrorizing Jews who visited the Har Hazeisim cemetery, which is adjacent to the neighborhood, as well as residents of the Maale Hazeitim area, a Jewish neighborhood in Ras al-Amud centered around the Beit Orot Yeshivah.

Among the detainees are several teenagers age 16 through 18. The gang was led by Aslam and Hamza Nager, 18 and 22. They were arrested and questioned after a rock-throwing incident in October, and under questioning admitted to participating in many of the attacks. Five members of the gang have been indicted on various rioting-related charges.

At least two of the gang, who are under 16 years of age, were responsible for destroying an Egged bus in September, investigators said. The perpetrators said that they stoned the bus, and when the driver jumped off and ran away, they burned it using gasoline and other accelerants.

In several other incidents, gang members said that they intentionally disconnected the electricity in the neighborhood and set fire to garbage cans and other items in the middle of the neighborhood’s main streets to draw police and rescue forces to the area – in order to attack them with rocks and firebombs.