Palestinian admits to poisoning Jewish family

Sunday, September 02, 2012 |  Ryan Jones

A Palestinian Arab man recently admitted to poisoning a Jewish family with intent to kill simply because he "hates Jews."

Israeli courts on Sunday cleared for publication details of the attack, which occurred last October in the central Israel town of Raanana.

The suspect, 46-year-old Adnan Othman Nasaara, was a construction worker who had previously done some work at the victims' house.

The Lerner family initially thought they were the victims of a simple robbery, and called police to the scene. But during the post-break-in interview, Eyal Lerner and one of the police officers collapsed after drinking water from the kitchen.

Eyal's wife, Yifat, and their two-year-old child also became ill. All four were hospitalized, with Eyal spending a week in intensive care in serious condition.

Police later found that most of the drinks and staple food items in the Lerner's kitchen had been laced with highly toxic pesticides. Officers later traced the robbery to Nasaara and two other suspects. They found pesticides in Nasaara's house.

Police told Israel's Ynet news portal that Nasaara admitted to the poisoning, saying he did it because he "hates Jews." Officials are now describing the incident at nationalistically motivated, or, in other words, a terrorist attack.

The attack again brings to light two important aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

First, Israel is constantly criticized for restricting the freedom of movement in Judea and Samaria (the so-called "West Bank"), and especially for denying Palestinians easy access to Israeli-controlled areas. But most of those restrictions are new, having only been implemented over the past decade due to rising Palestinian violence. The poisoning of the Lerner family demonstrates why Israel is so careful with access to Jewish areas.

Second, it has become increasingly important to limit access because the Palestinian Authority has so utterly failed to educate its population to view the Jews as neighbors and partners. In fact, it has done the opposite, and many Palestinians today, like Mr. Nasaara, view it as a national and even a religious duty to take the lives of Jews, be they men, women or children.

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