One of Two Mosque Arson Suspects Released

Case dying? Court extends remand of one suspect by two days, sends the other to house arrest.

Gil Ronen,

President Peres visits damaged mosque
President Peres visits damaged mosque
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Petach Tikva Magistrates' Court released one of two suspects in the arson attack on a Galilee mosque to house arrest Sunday. The second suspect was remanded into custody for just two days, a decision that means he is also likely to be freed soon if police do not come up with a stronger case against him.

The suspect released into house arrest will stay that way for one week and then be under nighttime-only house arrest for another week. In addition he will not be allowed into Judea and Samaria for 21 days and he will deposit 7,000 shekels into the court's coffers.

Honenu, the NGO that assists Jewish nationalist prisoners, said that to this day police have not brought any evidence tying the two to the Tuba arson and that the suspects continue to deny involvement in that arson. 

Sources close to the suspects said that the case is "in its death throes." The judge who extended the remand of a suspect last week said that the case was a weak one.

The mosque in the village of Tuba Zangariya was set on fire October 3. The village is largely Bedouin and its population has a history of serving in the IDF. While the press and politicians were quick to blame Jewish nationalists for the blaze, some onlookers noted that the arson could be an act of provocation designed to drive the village's population into the arms of radical Islamists and irredentists.

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