Palestinian home torched in riots
Photo: AFP

Hebron shooting: 2 settlers turn themselves in

Two Kiryat Arba residents suspected of wounding two Palestinians turn themselves in to Hebron police, say they were facing life danger when they fired at victims; Justice Minister laments security forces' inability to avert 'pogrom'

Two residents of Kiryat Arba suspected of firing at Palestinians during riots in Hebron Thursday, turned themselves in to police Saturday. Two Palestinians sustained wounds in the incident. 


The two suspects, men in their 40s and 50s, say they faced life danger during the incident and were scared of being lynched by Palestinians. The two men say they fired as an act of self-defense.


Later, the suspects were identified as Gabi Bibi and Ze'ev Brauda. Their attorney, Ariel Atari, told Ynet: "The police possess a film with the details of the Arabs who carried out Brauda's lynching, which required 36 stitches in his head. If we are not dealing with a political probe, we shall xpect the Arabs to be detained tonight while Bibi and Brauda should be released immediately after their interrogation."


Meanwhile, Defense Minister Ehud Barak turned to Attorney General Menachem Mazuz and asked that law authorities move forward quickly with the investigation, so that the legal establishment could use the full might of the law against the suspects should this be called for.


Tense calm

Palestinian residents of Hebron told Ynet that the shooting incident in question occurred near Kiryat Arba. Settlers were said to have fired in the direction of the Sa'afin residence, where two family members were injured.


A B'tselem investigator who reportedly witnessed the incident said a number of settlers had fired in the air, but one aimed towards the house and injured the Palestinians inside it.


A tense calm prevailed in Hebron over the weekend, in the wake of the riots that erupted when security forces evicted Jewish settlers from a disputed house in this West Bank city.


'Evacuation a good move'

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann slammed security forces for failing to properly prepare for settler attempts to attack Palestinians.


"The evacuation was the proper move, and good thing it was done, but it should have been clear that a pogrom would follow," he said. "It is regrettable that security forces were not prepared to avert it. We were always outraged when Jews were not being protected abroad, yet here we were, helpless, and watching with shock."  


Earlier, A few dozen right-wing activists spent the night in another disputed site in the city, Beit Shapira, and were evacuated by security forces the next morning without a show of resistance.


Aviad Glickman contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 12.06.08, 20:14
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