Three Israeli-Druze soldiers were arrested on Monday for allegedly throwing an explosive makeshift device on a Palestinian house in Bethlehem in retaliation for the abduction of the body of Tiran Ferro, an 18-year-old high-school student who was injured in a car crash in the West Bank.

On November 22, Ferro, resident of the Druze city of Daliat al-Carmel, was traveling in a friend’s vehicle when the traffic accident happened near Jenin, and the pair were hospitalized in the West Bank.

Family members mourn the death of 18-year-old Israeli Druze Tiran Ferro, in November.Credit: Fadi Amun

While his friend was later moved to Israel for treatment via a military helicopter, Palestinian medical officials believed that Ferro’s transfer would endanger his life. As a result, he remained at Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin, where he was later kidnapped by Palestinian gunmen. Ferro’s family claims that the teenager was still alive when Palestinian gunmen stormed the hospital and took his body.

It is believed that the gunmen staged the kidnapping because they believed Ferro was an Israeli soldier working undercover, a Palestinian official explained to Haaretz. Palestinian officials added that the evacuation of the injured by military helicopter, the increased security vigilance and the operation of drones over Jenin, strengthen the claim that Ferro was not a regular civilian.

An agreement was finally reached on November 23 to return the body. It was transferred to the Red Crescent ambulance which started traveling towards Israel – but during the journey, armed men took over the vehicle and kidnapped the body a second time.

On November 24, the body of Ferro was returned to Israel. According to the IDF, the body was transferred “after efforts by the security forces in coordination with the Palestinian Authority.”

The leader of the Druze community, Sheikh Mowafeq Tarif, said in a statement: “I condemn and denounce any act of violence of any kind. There is no justification nor a hint of legitimization to any illegal act against a person or property. This is not the way and not the spirit of IDF soldiers and Druze soldiers in particular. We must wait for the investigation to be completed before any judgment is done. I trust the investigating authorities and IDF commanders.”

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