The suspect in custody
Photo courtesy Israeli police

Haifa youth arrested for spraying swastika on synagogue

Police say 19-year-old confessed to vandalizing property in southern Haifa with hate graffiti. Investigators suspect he may also be involved in arson and assault incidents

Haifa police detectives confirmed on Sunday night that they have arrested a suspect in the recent wave of violence through the city's southern neighborhoods.


Investigators said the 19-year-old confessed to vandalizing buildings and cars with graffiti spelling out hate slogans and swastikas as well as torching a sukkah and several counts of assault.


Police said the youth's motives do not appear to have any connection to actual Nazi ideology but rather stem from personal troubles, possibly exacerbated by a long standing habit of substance abuse.


For weeks now Haifa residents have woken up to new hateful graffiti sprayed on their cars and buildings, on Saturday evening the crisis took a turn for the worse as a sukkah belonging to the Neveh David synagogue was set on fire. Books of scripture belonging to the synagogue were also vandalized.


During those weeks a woman filed a complaint against an anonymous man who physically assaulted her on the street before raising his hand in the Nazi salute and yelling "Heil Hitler".


Investigators who searched the youth's home said they found numerous songs he had written with various Nazi themes worked into them. Police said the youth apparently wrote the songs while under the influence of narcotics, namely Heroin, Ecstasy and LSD.


"He said he torched the sukkah and wrote those things on the synagogue because of an argument he had with worshippers there," said Chief Inspector Avishai Gino.


"As for the cars, he said that he wrote those slogans in an attempt to gain attention from a young woman who was ignoring him. He also said that he was seeking to create awareness following the uncovering of the neo-Nazi cell in central Israel," said Gino.


פרסום ראשון: 10.01.07, 01:08
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