State indicts Jewish teens for sawing down Arab olive trees

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Because the defendants are both 16 and legally minors, their names are under gag order.

The Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office on Thursday filed an indictment with the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court against two Jewish teenagers for sawing down Arab olive trees.

Because the defendants are both 16 and legally minors, their names are under gag order.

According to a Justice Ministry statement, the teens attacked the olive trees of some Arabs near Bat Ayin.

The statement said that their motivation for the attack was an ideological desire to commit some action against Arabs, and charged them with perpetrating ideologically driven property damage.

Although the statement did not describe how they were arrested, it did note that the incident occurred on May 14 and referenced the teens starting to saw down the olive trees –  meaning they may have been caught while in the act.

In addition, the statement mentioned others being involved, but did not explain if they may be charged in the future or if they have somehow avoided prosecution.

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The incident comes as tensions are spiking in Israeli-Arab relations, both as the Lod District Court makes major decisions about the Jews connected to the 2015 Duma arson attack and with a rise in Palestinian terror attacks leading into a potential Israeli annexation move regarding parts of the West Bank.

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