Suspect held in arson attacks on three synagogues in central Israel
search

Suspect held in arson attacks on three synagogues in central Israel

Indictment against 37-year-old Rosh Ha’ayin resident cites three attacks last month that damaged arks and several Torah scrolls

Fire damage to the Torah ark in the synagogue at Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikvah following an August 2019 arson attack. (Israel Police)
Fire damage to the Torah ark in the synagogue at Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikvah following an August 2019 arson attack. (Israel Police)

A man from the central Israeli city of Rosh Ha’ayin was indicted last week on charges of setting fire to three synagogues.

The unnamed 37-year-old is suspected of starting fires last month in two of the synagogues’ arks, which house the community’s Torah scrolls. He was apprehended in late August, and has seen his remand extended multiple times over fears he could carry out a new attack.

One of the synagogues targeted by the suspect was the chapel at Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikvah. Several Torah scrolls were burned in that attack, and damage was caused to the rest of the sanctuary.

He also allegedly set another synagogue’s ark on fire on Hovevei Zion Street in the city, as well as the front door of a synagogue on Yehuda Halevi Street in Rosh Ha’ayin.

In all three attacks, the man allegedly started the fires by lighting oil-soaked toilet paper.

The suspect’s motive is not immediately clear from the indictment.

read more:
comments