The Supreme Court on Sunday increased the jail sentences for two brothers charged with setting fire to the Hand-in-Hand bilingual school in Jerusalem in November 2014.
Nahman and Shlomo Twito, who were sentenced last summer to 30 months and 24 months in jail respectively, each had eight months added to their sentence. Nahman, 18, will now serve a 38-month sentence, while Shlomo, 20, will serve 32 months.
The sentence of Yitzhak Gabbai, 22, is still under debate due to the fact that he confessed to arson but not to incitement on Facebook, meaning that he has not yet been charged. His original sentence was three years in jail.
"The two young defendants set the school on fire in an attempt to send a threatening and frightening message to those who hold different views from them – in this case whoever seeks to advance coexistence," wrote Judge Zvi Zilbertal in the court ruling.
"The State of Israel is a Jewish and democratic state, and setting fire to an institution of coexistence between Jews and Arabs, even if one disagrees with it, harms not only the state's democratic values but also its Jewish values," Judge Elyakim Rubinstein added.
"This court – and courts in general – must fight against this (phenomenon)," Rubinstein continued.
The November 2014 arson attack on the school did not cause any injuries, but significantly damaged the pre-school, where the blaze was located. After extinguishing the fire, the firefighters found anti-Arab slogans including "Death to Arabs," "Kahane was right" and other phrases against Israeli-Arab coexistence nearby.
The indictments filed against the Twito brothers and Gabbai said that the three are members of Lehava, a far right-wing group opposed to Jewish assimilation and co-existence between Jews and Arabs.