Suspects nabbed in Israeli school arson attack

Workers remove the curtains in a torched classroom in an Arab-Jewish school in Jerusalem November 30, 2014. (Reuters)

Several suspects have been arrested in connection with an arson attack last month which hit a Jewish-Arab school, an uncommon symbol of coexistence in Jerusalem, Israeli police said Sunday, Agence France-Presse reported.

“Police and Shin Bet [security services] have arrested several suspects for having set fire to a classroom of a bilingual school on Nov. 29,” police spokeswoman Luba Samri told AFP.

She refused to provide any details about the number of suspects arrested or their identities.

The attack, apparently by Jewish extremists, sparked a wave of condemnation and took place amid months of rising tensions and unrest in Jerusalem.

The attack saw a first-grade classroom badly damaged by the fire and slogans in Hebrew reading “Death to Arabs” and “There’s no coexistence with cancer” scrawled on the walls.

“Even if they manage to dirty the school’s walls, they will not manage to bring down our enterprise [of civil cooperation],” Shuli Dichter , executive director of Hand in Hand, the NGO behind the school, said earlier.

Since the attack, some parents wish for the attack to not receive too much media coverage, for fear of turning the school into a target for extremists, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

A lawyer for some of the accused, Itamar Ben Gvir, said he had been denied access to his clients in an “anti-democratic” move that he would appeal.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior officials had condemned the attack at the Hand-in-Hand school, which is located on the Green Line separating west Jerusalem from the annexed eastern sector and has 624 pupils.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:43 - GMT 06:43