Police have arrested four female right-wing activists – three of them minors – on suspicion they torched Palestinian vehicles last month in Hebron.
Officers suspect the girls have carried out a number of acts as part of the settlers' 'Price tag policy', and believe that their arrest will restore relative calm to the West Bank. The Jerusalem Magistrates' Court remanded by three days the arrest of one suspect, 20-year old Yaska Weiss of Kiryat Arba.
Police first began suspecting the girls when a Palestinian vehicle was torched early one morning near Hebron. An ensuing investigation led to the arrests of two 15-year old girls and a 17-year old – all of whom reside in Jerusalem and the area. Weiss was arrested on Sunday.
20-year old Yaska Weiss in court (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
The investigation has revealed a number of other crimes related to an unofficial revenge policy upheld by right-wing extremists, termed 'Price tag', police say.
Two of the minors were released under house arrest while the third remains in custody. Officers are planning additional arrests.
Sources say Weiss's brother was killed during Operation Defensive Shield, and that it may have affected her judgment.
But sources close to the suspects also had criticism for the manner in which police treated them. "Israel Police is pulling dirty tricks and stopping at nothing to find suspects in the case," one said.
"The police's behavior is reminiscent of dark regimes in which it is not the court system that has the final say, but rather bullies, at the expense of minors, and this must stop."
The girls are being represented by Attorney Naftali Wertzbiger, who told Ynet this was one way teens relieved stress nowadays. He added that instead of educating them, the state was turning them into criminals.
"Police are doing their job, but welfare and prosecution officials must understand that there is frustration and rebellion here that require positive treatment. Arresting them and cuffing them will only cause identification and in increase in these crimes, which no doubt have no justification."