Police arrested three relatives of teenager Mohammed Zoabi on suspicion of threatening harm after the Arab boy expressed solidarity with kidnapped Israelis.

Western wall

Tens of thousands attend prayer service on Sunday evening at Western Wall in Jerusalem on behalf of three kidnapped Israeli teenagers. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Police on Tuesday arrested three family members of Mohammed Zoabi, a 17-year-old resident of Nazareth, on suspicion of threatening harm after he promoted a video expressing solidarity with Israel and, in particular, the three kidnapped teenagers for whom the IDF is searching.

In a video Zoabi uploaded to social media this week, which went viral, he urged the Israeli leadership:

“Those terrorists that have kidnapped our kids – bring them back, and you had better bring them back now!”

With an Israeli flag in the background, he pleaded:

“Wake up and stop cooperating with terrorists!”

The Palestinian Authority is the “biggest” terrorist, while Israel is a free and democratic state, he said, adding – in English, Hebrew and Arabic – that he was proud to be an Israeli.

“We are investigating information stating that his relatives aim to hurt him”, a police official told Channel 2 news. “The investigation is continuing today and the three suspects we apprehended will go on trial in Nazareth.”

According to media reports, three middle-aged men had threatened the youngster for “harming the family’s honor.”

A report in the Hebrew-language Maariv daily says the men had planned to kidnap Zoabi and take him to Jenin, a Palestinian-run city often cited as the terrorist capital of Judea and Samaria.

A source close to Zoabi told UWI that police had warned him he was in danger, according to intelligence information.

“Recently, I have been receiving a large amount of death and violence threats only for showing sympathy with the three innocent Israeli teens that were kidnapped in Judea and Samaria by terrorists,” Zoabi said in a message to his supporters through a friend’s Facebook and Twitter pages. He temporarily deactivated his own social media accounts after deciding to keep a low profile.

“I just felt that I have to inform you all that I’m OK, and I’ll be OK,” he wrote.

“I will continue to speak up for what is right, as long as I’m not hurting innocent people,” he vowed.

“I’m safe, and I will remain safe, especially in a great country like Israel,” he said, adding, Am Yisrael Chai (Hebrew for “The Nation of Israel Lives”).

Teen’s Cousin, MK Haneen Zoabi, ‘is a Terrorist’

Zoabi is a cousin of Member of Knesset (Israeli Parliament) Haneen Zoabi of the Israeli-Arab Balad party, who is well-known for her activism against the Jewish State.

“I am happy to see that Israeli hasbara [public diplomacy] is in such a dire state that it needs a stupid boy with a twisted identity who feels a continuous need to apologize to his strong masters,” she told Ynet. “The Israeli desire to highlight this delusional case shows the state’s need for legitimacy, even if it comes from a questionable direction.”

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman slammed Haneen Zoabi on Tuesday in a Facebook post after she defended the Hamas terrorists who abducted three Israeli teens, claiming the kidnappers were “not terrorists” and that they “have seen no other way to change their reality and they have to resort to these measures until Israel sobers up a bit and feels the suffering of others.”

“Not only are the kidnappers terrorists; Haneen Zoabi is a terrorist,” Liberman declared.

“The fate of the kidnappers and the fate of Zoabi, an inciter, should be the same,” he said.

“Expel her to Gaza and remove her diplomatic immunity,” MK Miri Regev stated, according to Israel National News, adding:

“This is a betrayal. She…identifies herself with the Hamas terrorists who kidnapped our three boys.”

MK Moti Yogev argued that Zoabi’s statement breaks all boundaries and vowed to work diligently to see her expelled from the Knesset permanently, INN reports.

“Her position on the terrorists is closer to them than to us. She should be with them instead of in the Israeli Knesset,” Yogev asserted.

Author: Atara Beck
Staff Writer/Editor, United with Israel