An Arab gang that specialized in stoning and firebombing Israeli vehicles traveling on one of the country’s main highways has been busted, security officials released for publication Wednesday. The gang, which centered its activities on attacking vehicles traveling on Road 443, the Modi’in-Yerushalayim Highway, was responsible for numerous injuries to Israeli drivers as well as damage in the millions of shekels to cars, buses, and trucks.
Sixteen people, most of them residents of the village of Harbata, were arrested in recent weeks. Harbata is located right off the highway, near Modi’in and not far from the Dor gas station, where many of the attacks took place. The gang was led by two adults – Suhin Yussuf Maslach and Bilal Mahmad Abd Casbah – who recruited minors to participate in the attacks, on the theory that authorities would be less likely to arrest or prosecute them.
In a statement, the Shin Bet security service said that “as Road 443 is a main artery, security forces will continue to patrol it and work to prevent and eliminate incidents of terror on the road.”