A soldier serving in an elite unit in the Golani Brigade was arrested Wednesday by Military Police, together with his brother, on suspicion of involvement in "price tagging" and destruction of police vehicles.
Both brothers are suspected of spray-painting buses which are used to transport Palestinians, and of slashing tires of a police detective’s vehicle in the West Bank. The suspects' remand was extended until Thursday.
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According to suspicion, the soldier and his brother sprayed "Muhammad is a pig" and “Death to Arabs" on buses in Emmanuel.
At the same time, a police officer found that someone had vandalized a car parked in the settlement of Karnei Shomron.
Police estimated that the cases were related and launched an investigation as a result of which the soldier's brother, a 30-year-old resident of Petah Tikva, was arrested. Investigators said that photos documenting the damage to the patrol car and buses were found on his mobile phone.
Due to this information, the soldier also was arrested on Tuesday. He was taken to the Ariel police station and his remand was extended. According to the soldier, he was not involved in the incidents and can provide an alibi for hours during which the incidents took place.
On the other hand, police say they traced evidence connecting the suspects to the incidents. Attorney Adi Kedar, representing the soldier, said, "The arrest of the suspect is scandalous and is only based on intelligence information. There is no evidence linking him to the incidents. He gave detailed testimony with a solid alibi showing that he did not commit the offenses attributed to him."
Recently acts of violence were committed against residents of a Palestinian village near Ramallah: Five members of a family living in Sinjil were injured by smoke inhalation last week after their house was set afire, apparently out of nationalistic motives. On the wall of the house was painted, "Regards from Eden revenge." The fire was the one day after the terrorist attack which killed the soldier Eden Atias,19, of Afula.
A few days earlier, tombstones in a Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem near Independence Park were spray painted. Also, on that same day, police arrested two boys - aged 16 and 17 – for allegedly planning to carry out a "price tagging" of a monastery in Jerusalem.
Yoav Zitun contributed to this report
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