IDF Rounds Up More Suspects in Shomron Lynching

lynching Israel
The young hikers with security personnel following the attempted lynching near Kusra earlier this month.

In a joint operation, IDF soldiers, Shin Bet agents and Israel Police officers raided the village of Kusra overnight Sunday, arresting seven individuals who were involved in the attempted lynch of nearly two dozen Israeli children near the Binyamin region town of Migdalim earlier in December. Included among the detainees were several individuals involved in the lynching.

This was the second roundup of suspects in the case. IDF soldiers arrested 20 residents of the village last week in connection with the case. In the incident, a group of nearly two dozen Jewish bar mitzvah-age children on a hike were savagely attacked by dozens of Arab rioters. The incident occurred near the town of Migdalim, outside Shechem, about a kilometer away from the Arab village of Kusra.

The Israeli group was attacked by a large gang of Arab rioters, who threw stones and bricks at the children. Witnesses said that three of the children were injured. The children eventually made their way to a cave in order to escape the attack.

During the rioting, a security guard who was accompanying the group shot in the air in order to ward off the rioters. A 48-year-old Arab was hit by the bullets, later dying of his wounds. Arabs were able to reach another security guard, pummeling him with rocks and stealing his weapon.

The group called for police and army assistance, and the latter arrived after several minutes and broke up the riot. The children were eventually evacuated from the area on an IDF bus. Police determined that the shooting was done in self-defense, as the shooter was trying to fend off rioters who were attempting to lynch the group of Jewish boys.

Overnight Sunday, security officials said they arrested 23 wanted security suspects in other areas in Yehudah and Shomron. The suspects were wanted for participating in rioting and throwing stones and firebombs that endangered Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers. Several of the suspects were also charged with belonging to Hamas. All were being questioned on their activities by security forces.