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Police Arrest Another Suspect in Mosque Arson

After releasing two suspects for lack of evidence, police arrest a 17-year-old in arson of Tuba Zangriya mosque.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 10/23/2011, 2:25 AM

Aftermath of mosque fire
Aftermath of mosque fire
Panet.co.il

Police arrested on Friday a 17-year-old on suspicion of involvement in the October 3 arson of the mosque in the Bedouin village of Tuba Zangriya.

The suspect is reportedly denying any connection to the incident.

Last week, the Petach Tikva Magistrates’ Court released one of the two suspects that had been previously arrested in the arson attack.

The second suspect was remanded into custody for just two days and later released as well. The two were released after investigators were unable to present sufficient evidence connecting them to the arson.

Sources close to the detainee who was arrested on Friday said that this is a similar case and that there is insufficient evidence against him. The court extended his remand by four days on Saturday evening, after the judge refused a request by police to extend his detention for ten days.

The Honenu legal aid organization, which is representing the detainee, said on Saturday evening, “After the two detainees were released last week, it seems that the police decided to find a new victim for their false plots. We hope that just as the two other detainees were released, this one will be released as well. It already appears that there is no connection between him and the arson.”

The village of Tuba Zangriya 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.