Photo: Gil Yohanan
Damage caused to school following fire
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Suspects arrested in torching of Jerusalem bilingual school

Cleared for publication: Police arrest several suspects in connection to torching of Hebrew-Arab bilingual school in Jerusalem, a week ago; court extends remand of suspects until Thursday

The Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court cleared for publication on Sunday that officers arrested several suspects in connection to the torching of the Hebrew-Arab bilingual school in Jerusalem. 



The remand of the suspects was extended until Thursday, while the Shin Bet requested to extend their remand by eight days. The detainees are suspected of arson and spraying anti-Arab graffiti in the school.


Classroom after fire (Photo: Gil Yohanan) (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Classroom after fire (Photo: Gil Yohanan)


Last Saturday, firefighting teams who were dispatched to the school found hateful slogans scrawled on the school's walls, including "Death to Arabs", "Kahane was right" and other phrases against Israeli-Arab coexistence.


Lawyer Itamar Ben Gvir‎, who represents the suspects, noted that "the conduct of the Shin Bet is shameful. They are not allowing the suspects to meet with me and with another lawyer who represents them. The Shin Bet is violating their basic rights, and we have filed a petition to the court to enable us to meet them."


The suspects' lawyer, Itamar Ben Gvir (Photo: Ido Erez) (Photo: Ido Erez)
The suspects' lawyer, Itamar Ben Gvir (Photo: Ido Erez)


The arson attack led to a wave of condemnation. Education Minister Shai Piron said that incident was a "violent, criminal and despicable act that could harm and undermine the foundations of Israeli democracy. The fact that the arson took place in an educational institution that promotes coexistence constitutes a harsh blow to the fabric of relations between Jews and Arabs. The incident is particularly serious considering that the criminals chose to target the soft underbelly of Israeli society, in a preschool where innocent children learn."


Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat joined the condemnation, saying: "We won't let pyromaniacs and those who violate the order and take the law into their hands disrupt the routine of our lives. We will continue to condemn the extremists and do all that is necessary for the return of calm to Jerusalem. I spoke with the District Police Commander who has made the investigation and the safety of the children of Jerusalem a top priority issue."


Last week, first graders and teachers from the bilingual school in Jerusalem spent their school day at the President's Residence.


"You are proof that we can live side by side in peace, and we must not let difficult experiences – such as what you have been through – harm our belief in our ability to live side by side,” President Reuven Rivlin said to the children.


פרסום ראשון: 12.07.14, 19:09
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