Israel indicts soldiers for trying to bomb Palestinian home


JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's military said its prosecutor has filed indictments against two soldiers who allegedly hurled an explosive device at a Palestinian home in the occupied West Bank.

Prosecutors charged the two soldiers with making an explosive device, aggravated intentional assault, intentional harm to property and impeaching the investigation, the army announced late Thursday. The court ordered the soldiers to remain in detention until a hearing next month. They were arrested on Nov. 28.

The indictment said the two defendants acted out of revenge for the abduction of the body of an Israeli schoolboy in the West Bank city of Jenin on Nov. 22.

Palestinian militants in Jenin had snatched the body of 17-year-old Tiran Fero, a member of Israel’s Druze Arab minority, from a local hospital where he was receiving treatment after a car crash. Fero's father accused the militants of removing his son from his life-support machine while he was still alive. The Israeli military had said he was already dead when the militants took him.

The seizure of the boy's body spread alarm among Israel's Druze community. As anger rose, videos circulated on social media of Druze men threatening to take revenge against Palestinians. Police said Druze villagers even attacked and tied up three Palestinian laborers in northern Israel.

Amid the standoff over Fero's body, the two defendants — reportedly Druze soldiers — teamed up with another soldier to assemble an explosive device, the military said on Thursday. The soldiers identified a Palestinian home near the West Bank city of Bethlehem as their target and lobbed stones at it. A few days later, they threw the explosive into the crowded house “with the intent of starting a fire in the home,” the military added.

The extent of the damage or any casualties was unclear. There were no details about the targeted family in Palestinian media.

The military said it would issue an indictment against the third soldier in the coming days. The three soldiers were not named. The military did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the penalties they could face.


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