The father of the two Bedouins who were arrested on suspicion of murdering 19-year-old Ron Yitzhak Kokia told Channel 2 News in an interview that he is finding it hard to believe that his sons were responsible for such a horrendous act. “I won’t believe it until I hear it from them,” he said.

Kokia and the scene of the attack

Kokia and the scene of the attack Photo Credit: Israel Police and IDF Spokesperson’s Unit/Channel 2 News

Israel’s southern city of Arad is still trying to cope with the death of 19-year-old Ron Yitzhak Kokia, who was murdered in a terror attack in the city on Thursday of last week. On Monday, it was cleared for publication that two brothers, residents of the nearby Unrecognized Bedouin villages, were arrested on suspicion of murdering the young soldier. During an interview with Channel 2 Online, the father of the suspects commented on the attack. “I’m in pain for the soldier,” he explained. “I can’t believe something like this happened.”

“This situation hurts,” he continued, adding that he still refuses to believe that his sons were the ones who carried out the horrendous act. “They were at home until 9:00 PM. I won’t believe it until I hear it from them.”

The father asked to extend his condolences to the Kokia family. “I’ve lived with Jews my whole life,” he added. “I don’t believe any publication. Anyone you ask, even Jews, [will tell you that] my children are not involved in these kinds of things. I cried over that boy [Kokia]. We are all humans- Jews and Arabs.”

Kokia’s father said that it was upsetting to learn that the people who murdered his son are Israeli citizens. “Some Bedouins serve in the IDF,” he explained. “It could be that one of the relatives of the same murderer is a soldier in the Nahal Brigade with Ron. There are Bedouin soldiers throughout the army today. I think the security forces did great work and it’s good that they caught them. I hope that they will also arrest all those who provided assistance.”

Another family member of the two Bedouin suspects has denied that they are connected to the attack. “They’re innocent,” he told Channel 2 News.