Three 11-year-olds from Petah Tikva were caught red handed while drawing swastikas on the wall of a synagogue in the city. The minors' parents were called to the police and given a warning; it was cleared for publication on Thursday.
On Saturday, two weeks ago, during a routine police patrol, Petah Tikva police officers spotted the three children drawing swastikas on the wall of a synagogue.
They were also drawing crosses and text in Russian. The police detained two of the children and the third fled the scene.
The children cooperated with the detectives and gave the details of the third child, who was later brought in to the station as well. After questioning the children, the police were not able to tie them to any neo-Nazi gangs, such as the one that operated in the city a few years ago.
Since the perpetrators are minors and cannot be held criminally responsible, they were released to their homes after their parents were called in and informed of the situation.
The police also notified the city's welfare bodies.
Petah Tikva Police intelligence chief Eli Sofer told Ynet, "The children had no explanation as to why they drew swastikas and other graffiti on the wall. We believe this to be merely a matter of vandalism. During their questioning we checked if the children were connected to other acts, but it turns out they were not."
Police also tried to decipher the Russian text, which was written in acronyms, but to no avail. Detectives were unable to understand what message the children were trying to convey.
During the children's questioning, police tried to find a connection between the three and a soldier from Petah Tikva who in the past was suspected of taking part in neo-Nazi gang activity as a minor.