Four Israeli youths arrested over anti-Arab terror attacks
Israeli border police gather in the area of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City on October 6, 2013, as Palestinian Christians rally during a demonstration against acts of vandalism on Christian sites in Jerusalem. (AFP)
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Israeli police arrested 14 Jewish youths from Jerusalem on suspicion of carrying out a series of attacks targeting Arab Israelis, a security spokesperson said on Sunday.
Micky Rosenfeld told AFP that the minors, aged between 13 and 16, had attended yeshivot -- religious Jewish seminaries and were arrested in a series of raids "for attacking Arab Israelis or their property over the last months in Jerusalem".
The attacks were believed to serve as the "revenge for terror attacks on Jewish Israelis," Rosenfeld said. The Israeli police Twitter account later claimed the youths had acted as a gang, according to AFP.
Jewish extremist "price tag" attacks initially targeted Palestinians in retaliation for state moves to dismantle unauthorised settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank, according to AFP.
The attacks then later grew in scope, and included a broader range of targets with "racist and xenophobic overtones, including Christian holy sites, Israeli peace activists and even the army." AFP reported.
Rosenfeld said the arrests of the youths had been made "over the last few weeks in an undercover operation".
"The majority of incidents relating to them took place in (east) Jerusalem neighbourhoods", and the arrests were made by a special unit formed to combat nationalist-motivated crimes, the spokesperson added.
In a separate incident, Israeli police caught four young Jews red-handed as they vandalised Christian tombstones in a Jewish cemetary, AFP reported.
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