CINCINNATI: Gas leak ruled out as cause of mysterious explosion in Arab-owned ‘Jerusalem’ Restaurant

AIMAN ARABEIAT, Arab owner of the Jerusalem Restaurant, was identified as the person running away from the explosion

Insurance fraud? Cincinnati arson specialists and federal agents are investigating an explosion last night outside a Clifton restaurant. The Jerusalem Restaurant, owned by Aiman Arabeiat was closed at the time of the explosion. Witnesses reported hearing the explosion, then seeing a man covered in blood jump in a truck leave the scene.

(FYI: Palestinian Arabs are notorious for naming their businesses ‘Jerusalem whatever’ in an effort to make the world believe Jerusalem is a Muslim city and not the historical and present day capital of the Jewish state)

COMMUNITY PRESS  CLIFTON HEIGHTS – The front of a restaurant is gone – blown out onto the sidewalk in a weekend explosion. Natural gas wasn’t the culprit, though, officials said Monday, and it was unknown – or at least undisclosed – whether there was anything suspicious about the incident that began around 9 p.m. Sunday at the Jerusalem Restaurant.

The small fire and explosion injured the business’ owner and caused about $60,000 in damage to the building at Clifton Avenue and West McMillan Street,, across from Hughes High School, Cincinnati fire officials said.

Cincinnati Fire Captain Dan Rottmueller confirmed that the person injured in the explosion was the restaurateur, Aiman Arabeiat. Initial reports indicated that the owner’s son had been hurt. The owner’s son, though, drove Arabeiat in a pickup truck, Rottmueller said.

The truck took Arabeiat to Christ Hospital, according to an emergency dispatch report. From there, Arabeiat was transferred to University Hospital. Investigators towed the truck from the hospital. However, on Monday night, University Hospital had no information to release on Arabeiat, a spokesman said.

Local and federal investigators spent about 10 hours collecting clues before clearing the scene Monday afternoon, said David Coulson, spokesman for the federal bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The Cincinnati Fire Department requested that the agency assist in the investigation, Coulson said.

Evan Wallis, who works next door at Baba Budan’s restaurant, said Jerusalem Restaurant had been closed for about a week and a half before the explosion, and he believed that the operator was planning to relocate the business.

Arab Owner embroiled in other legal problems:

Besides dealing with the fallout from Sunday’s explosion and fire, Arabeiat, 45, is embroiled in legal troubles. He was recently indicted on a theft charge accusing him of stealing car parts from a woman’s 2006 Chrysler Sebring in Mount Healthy, Hamilton County court records show.

The indictment was signed Aug. 28, and Arabeiat was booked into the county jail two days later. He pleaded not guilty and remains free on his promise to show up for court. A Jan. 4 jury trial is scheduled before Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge Cheryl Grant.

A company called Amjud LLC holds the license for the Jerusalem Restaurant on West McMillan at Clifton, according to the Cincinnati Health Department, and the Arabeiat is listed as the eatery’s owner.