First reprisal following Shalit deal?
The memorial for Yitzhak Rabin
in Tel Aviv was vandalized Thursday night. The words "Price Tag" and "Free Yigal Amir"
were spray-painted on it.
Eye-witnesses reported that the perpetrator was arrested by Tel Aviv municipal guards. The suspect is Shvuel Schijveschuurder, 27, from Givat Shmuel whose parents were murdered in the Sbarro restaurant terror attack in Jerusalem in 2001.
He was taken into questioning and is scheduled to be released from custody later on Friday. While in custody he admitted to committing the act out of "ideological motives," police said.
Rabin memorial vandalized (Photo: Ben Kelmer)
Meanwhile, the Tel Aviv Municipality released security camera footage showing Schijveschuurder vandalizing the memorial.
|Watch Rabin memorial being vandalized|
On Friday morning, municipal sanitation workers cleaned the paint off the memorial and painted over the graffiti sprayed on the nearby wall.
The suspect poured white paint over the monument as well as on the sign reading "At this place Yitzhak Rabin was murdered." The words "Price Tag" were sprayed in purple on the monument's black frame. The slogan "Free Yigal Amir" was sprayed on the walls of the Municipality building.
White paint poured over monument (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
Nadav, an eye-witness, saw the man vandalizing the memorial. "I began crossing the junction towards him as he was finishing writing and pouring white paint. A municipal security guard chased after him. He entered a taxi and was forcefully taken out of it."
According to the eye-witness, the guard asked the suspect "why did you do it?" and he replied: "You don't know who I am, my family was murdered." He was then taken into questioning.
Slogan 'Free Yigal Amir' on Municipality building (Photo: Ben Kelmer)
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai fiercely condemned the act. "Hands that allow themselves to hurt what is sacred and important to the people of Israel must be cut off," he said.
Huldai met with the municipal security guard who caught the perpetrator and thanked him.
Shvuel Schijveschuurder (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
"Hands that allow themselves to hurt what is sacred and important to the people of Israel must be cut off," he said.
The security guard told Huldai he caught as he was trying to escape by taxi. He said Schijveschuurder told him he committed the act in protest of the release of terrorists as part of the Shalit deal.
A prisoner swap deal
for the release of captive soldier Gilad Shalit
will see 1,027 Palestinian prisoners freed including prisoners serving life sentences. The first stage
of the deal is set to be carried out on Tuesday.
The Rabin Center in Tel Aviv also denounced memorial's defacement and welcomed the Shalit prisoner exchange deal. A statement issued by the center said: "The Rabin Center welcomes the approval of the deal for the return of captive soldier Gilad Shalit, congratulates his family and regards his release as part of the State of Israel's duty to its soldiers."
Earlier this month, a mosque at the northern village of Tuba Zangaria
was torched and the words "Price Tag" "revenge" and "Palmer" were sprayed in the scene. President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu both condemned
the attack, but vandalism did not cease.
On Yom Kippur, Muslim and Christian graves in Jaffa were desecrated.
Shortly thereafter, messages reading "death to Arabs" were found in Bet Yam.
Eli Senyor and Roi Anteby contributed to this report