Mosque Arson Suspects Released

Court orders release of 2 Jewish youths arrested Wednesday for allegedly torching mosque.

Gil Ronen ,

Honenu picket.
Honenu picket.

Two Jewish minors who were arrested last week on suspicion of setting fire to a mosque have been released. The release is another link in a long chain of arrests regarding alleged Jewish "price tag" actions that have ended without formal charges being pressed.

A Jerusalem court ordered the youths released to house arrest until next Thursday, when they will be free.

The minors were arrested Wednesday in Ramat Migron and Havat Gilad. They were taken to police offices in Maaleh Adumim, where they were interrogated regarding the alleged torching of a mosque in the village of Jaba, in the Binyamin region of Samaria (Shomron).

The mosque was set on fire when residents of the Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El were being evicted from their homes, and the arsonists left behind graffiti that said "Price tag – Ulpana Hill."

Police brought the youths to a court for remand but the judges refused to extend the remand by more than 5 days and noted that the evidence against the youths was "weak."

On Monday, Jerusalem Magistrates Court Judge Miriam Lifshitz ruled that the two must be released. She noted that there was no progress in the investigation and that the evidence was weak. She ruled that the youths would deposit NIS 4,000 and remain in custody until Friday. A lawyer from Honenu, the NGO that assists Jews suspected of nationalist crimes, filed an appeal of the decision and it was decided as a compromise that they would be released to house arrest, which would last until Thursday.