The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court extended on Tuesday evening the remand of three suspects who were arrested for desecrating the Yad VaShem Holocaust memorial this month with pro-Nazi slogans. The three are also charged with spraying graffiti in the Jordan Valley and on Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem.
One suspect's arrest was extended by six days and another minor's arrest was extended by two days. At the same time, the court released a third victim to a full ten-day house arrest. Police believe this suspect was in contact with the perpetrators of the acts and encouraged them.
Earlier on Tuesday evening, police arrested a fourth suspect, an 18-year-old from Bnei Brak, on suspicion of involvement in the spraying of the graffiti at Yad Vashem.
“Hitler, thanks for the Holocaust” and “If Hitler didn’t exist the Zionists would have had to invent him” were among the graffiti scrawled on the walls of the plaza several weeks ago. Another hate message stated, “Jews wake up – the Zionist regime is dangerous.”
Both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres condemned the graffiti.
The suspects are hareidi orthodox anti-Zionist Jews, a fringe group who frequently protest against Israel as a Zionist state. However, no anti-Zionist leader has applauded the incident at Yad VaShem.
One of the suspects said after his arrest, according to a Channel 10 News report on Tuesday, “Enough with the hypocrisy of Yad Vashem. They send delegations to Auschwitz and hide the fact that the Zionists wanted the Holocaust, the Zionist leadership had had an interest in the Holocaust.”
Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev welcomed the suspects’ arrests on Tuesday and said, “We appreciate the work of the police who acted quickly and efficiently. I think it's important that we know the identity of the suspects. These people are anti-Zionist hareidi extremists who are on the margins of society and are not indicative of the majority which respects the memory of the Holocaust. The countless responses we received from Israel and around the world from people who expressed reservations and disgust at these actions show that this twisted act hurt many people.”