Two Israelis Indicted for Terror After Attacking Palestinian Family in Hawara With Axe

12:00 Mar 30 2023 Huwara ( حُوّارة, Huwwara) and Israel's Yitzhar (יִצְהָר) settlement

Houses and property burning during Israeli settlers' rampage in the Palestinian town of Hawara in the West Bank in March. Credit: HISHAM K. K. ABU SHAQRA/Anadolu Agency via AFP
Published by Haaretz

by Yaniv Kubovich by Haaretz
Mar 30, 2023 2:16 pm IDT

Two Israelis were indicted on terror charges on Thursday after attacking a Palestinian family with an axe during the settlers' rampage in the West Bank town of Hawara earlier in March.

According to the indictment, Akiva Rabin from Jerusalem and Raz Haim Garon from the settlement of Yitzhar attacked a Palestinian family while they were sitting inside a car.

Armed with an axe, a hammer, stones and pepper spray, the attackers approached a supermarket and began throwing stones on various cars with passengers inside them and breaking vehicles' windows, while also assaulting one passenger with an axe.

Rabin and Garon, who are also charged with the terror-related offense of intentional racially-motivated aggravated sabotage, were arrested one week after allegedly committing the crime.

According to the Shin Bet security services, they are members of a violent group that attempts to hurt Palestinians and disrupt the activity of Israeli security forces in the West Bank.

One of the victims, a resident of the Asira al-Qibliya village near Nablus, said that he and his family were attacked when they parked near a supermarket. "I escaped at the very last minute," he said, adding that the attackers also used pepper spray and tear gas against them.

In March, following a Palestinian shooting that killed two Israelis, hundreds of settlers entered Hawara and began throwing rocks at houses and setting houses, trees and cars in the village on fire. Seventy homes were affected; some were damaged or destroyed by fire, others looted or damaged in other ways and 90 cars were torched. The rioters injured dozens of Palestinians with rocks and iron rods and one man, 37-year-old Sameh Aqtash was killed by gun shot wounds to the stomach and around 100 people were injured.

“They entered everywhere possible, they torched houses and vandalized cars,” Abed al-Rahman, a Hawara resident, told Haaretz. He said some of the attackers carried guns and some threw Molotov cocktails at homes. “From inside the houses we heard only shouting. Many families ran outside for fear of being burned alive,” he said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the settlers "not to take the law into your hands" in an announcement later that night, with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant echoing the sentiment.

Days later, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich called for the destruction of the village, saying it "needs to be wiped out."

Akiva Rabin from Jerusalem and Raz Haim Garon from the settlement of Yitzhar indicted for axe attack on Palestinian family in Huwara 3/30/2023
Akiva Rabin from Jerusalem & Raz Haim Garon from Israeli settlement of Yitzhar indicted 3/30/2023 for axe attack on Palestinian family in Huwara earlier in March.
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