Mohammad Hussam Said Kirash and Wassim Mohammed Salah, two of the suspects arrested by the Shin Bet
Mohammad Hussam Said Kirash and Wassim Mohammed Salah, two of the suspects arrested by the Shin Bet. (photo credit:SHIN BET)


The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) arrested nine members of an east Jerusalem terror cell allegedly responsible for a string of fire bombings in the capital’s Beit Hanina neighborhood that wounded three Israelis.

The Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office on Sunday filed two indictments against the nine defendants with the Jerusalem District Court on a range of crimes, including charging them with fire bombings, attempted murder, causing serious bodily harm, conspiracy and manufacturing and igniting a weapon.

Following an intensive investigation in coordination with Jerusalem Police, the suspects were arrested two weeks ago, although the arrests were not made public until Sunday due to a gag order and several of the defendants names are still under gag order because they are minors.

According to a statement from police, the suspects confessed that the attacks were carried out in “retaliation” for the July 31 deadly West Bank firebombing in Duma, purportedly carried out by Jewish extremists that killed an infant and his father from the Duabasha family, and critically wounded two other family members.

The indictments summarized the crimes as follows.

Shortly after learning of the Duma firebombing, Imad Bakri and C.C. drove to a Paz gas station in Beit Hanina and paid NIS 50 to purchase a gallon of gasoline.

They then picked up Wahid Bakri and B.B. and the four defendants assembled 13 firebombs.

Next, they met up with Israeli resident Wasim Mohammed Salah Kostiro, 19, who previously served a prison sentence for terrorist activity, Mahdi Siaj and D.D.

Around 6:00 p.m., Imad Bakri, Wahid Bakri, B.B., C.C. D.D., Siaj and Kostiro allegedly threw several firebombs at a residential compound in Beit Hanina inhabited by Jewish families, called Beit HaShiva.

The firebombs burned the northern wall and the field next to the compound.

Regarding another attack which took place on August 3, Kostiro, A.A. and B.B. were designated for throwing firebombs at passing traffic on Route 20, while C.C. would be on the look-out for any approaching security forces.

Due to C.C. being delayed, Mohammed Hussam Sayid Kirash,18, took his place as look-out and they set out together around 7:30 p.m.

Originally, the cell intended to attack cars traveling from Beit Hanina toward Route 443, but they noticed that the cars were moving too fast to have a good chance of a successful attack.

The group moved to a different spot where vehicles were moving slower as they traveled from Route 443 toward Pisgat Ze’ev.

Throughout this period, the cell hid near the road alternately behind a mosque and behind a truck.

Around 7:55 p.m., three members of the group threw firebombs at a vehicle driven by Jews, which the cell identified by seeing a kipa on one of the passengers, on the heavily trafficked Ben-Zion Exchange when the vehicle stopped at a red light.

A 27-year-old woman named Inbar Azrak, and her husband Uri, were forced to flee the burning vehicle.

Inbar was treated for severe burns over 15 percent of her body, and a soldier who attempted to put out the blaze was also injured, while a third pedestrian was injured when the car struck him before coming to a stop.

Police said the firebombs of Kostiro and the two minors, between the ages of 16-17, all hit the car and that Kirash confessed to serving as a lookout.

The members of the cell then fled the scene.

“The actions of the members of the cell and their outcomes illustrate once again – and even more strongly – the high threat level of terror attacks in Jerusalem, posed, in particular, by the actions of those formerly jailed for similar activities,” the police statement said.

As reported by The Jerusalem Post