An unknown assailant arrived Tuesday night at the home of Brigadier General Meir Bokovza, deputy commander of the Judea and Samaria district, in the town of Shoham near Ben-Gurion Airport, and set his car on fire.
The car of Bokovza's neighbor was also set on fire. The two vehicles were totally burned.
The police are looking into the possibility that the act was committed following the recent clashes between settlers and police officers. Bokovza commanded the police forces who led the evacuation
of the illegal West Bank outpost of Amona two weeks ago.
Due to the incident's sensitivity, a special investigation team was set up by the police into the affair. The suspect apparently fled the scene during the night.
Torched car (Photo: Yossi Zeliger)
Bokovza commanded the operation, in which nine permanent structures built in the outpost were evacuated.
Since the operation, Bokovza and other senior police officers have been subject to threats on the part of right-wing activists. The Ben-Gurion Airport police thus provided him with special security arrangements, which included frequent patrols near his home. Nonetheless, an unknown person succeeded in approaching his home.
The man poured an inflammable material on the police car and on another car. Within a few seconds, the two vehicles were totally burned.
A man who passed near the house noticed the flames, and rushed to notify Bokovza. Police officers and senior police commanders were dispatched to the area within minutes.
"When we arrived, the car was already totally burned. There is no doubt that it was torched," Commander Morris Horesh told Ynet.
"We recently boosted security arrangements around the officer's house, due of the fact that he was threatened after the Amona evacuation. It's very possible that this was the motive for setting the car on fire, but we are still looking into other possible motives," he added.
"This is a very severe incident," police sources told Ynet.
They stressed that the car does not bear a police license plate, and therefore estimate that the officer was under surveillance on the officer's his way home.
Peace Now's Secretary General Yariv Oppenheimer said the incitement led by settlers against the police triggered the torching of the officer's car.
"The car was set on fire as a direct result of the wild incitement carried out every day by the settler leaders and right wing Knesset members. The settler leadership must stop this before there are casualties," he said.
Knesset Member Avshalom Vilan (Meretz) also blamed setter leaders for the torching of the car.
“Effie Eitam and his friends are responsible because their tongue-lashing at police officers. I call on them to condemn the incident, and the police need to indict the offenders,” he said.
Bokovza was appointed as deputy commander of the Judea and Samaria district a year and a half ago, and as part of his job is in charge of the West Bank settlements.
This is not the only investigation being conducted following the violent Amona incidents, which included hurling stones at security forces, massive use of clubs by police officers and, according to the settlers, inappropriate behavior by the police officers, which included sexual harassment of
A parliamentary inquiry commission
set up by the Knesset is expected to look into all of these incidents, in spite of the government's objection.
Efrat Weiss and Roee Nahmias contributed to the report