JERUSALEM (AP) – Israeli police said Sunday they arrested eight Arabs suspected of killing an Israeli Jew during a wave of ethnic violence last month.
Yigal Yehoshua, 56, died after being stoned during clashes between Arabs and Jews in the mixed city of Lod.
Palestinian protesters and Israeli police in Jerusalem clashed every night during the holy month of Ramadan in April and May over restrictions on public gatherings and attempts by settlers to evict dozens of Palestinian families. The clashes spread to a holy site in Jerusalem, sparking mob violence in Israel’s mixed cities and an 11-day war in Gaza.
In Lod and other mixed citiesGroups of Jews and Arabs fought each other and rampaged through neighborhoods, setting cars and shops ablaze, and attacking anyone on the other side who crossed their path.
Israel’s Shin Bet police and security agency said six Arab residents of Lod and two Palestinians from the West Bank were arrested on suspicion of throwing stones at Yehoshua’s car. He died of his injuries several days later, on May 17, and his kidney was donated to an Arab woman.
Israeli prosecutors plan to charge seven of the murder suspects.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett congratulated the security forces. “Every enemy and terrorist who tries to harm us must know: the state of Israel will lay its hands on all evildoers sooner or later and bring them to justice,” he said in a statement.
Arab citizens of Israel make up about 20% of the population. They have citizenship and the right to vote but face widespread discrimination. They have close family ties to the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza and strongly identify with their cause, leading many Israeli Jews to view them with suspicion.