Arsonist of bilingual school gets 3 years' jail

Yitzchak Gabbai and accomplices set fire to Jerusalem school, where Jews and Arabs study side by side.

Ornit Atzar ,

Bilingual School attack
Bilingual School attack
Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90

The Jerusalem District Court sentenced Yitzchak Gabbai on Tuesday to three years' jail for setting fire to the Max Rayne Hand in Hand School in Jerusalem, commonly known as the Bilingual School.

His accomplices, brothers Shlomo Tuito and Nahman Tuito, received sentences of two and 2.5 years, respectively, in July. 

Gabbai was also found guilty of incitement to racism, incitement to violence, supporting a terror organization and more. The State Attorney's Office asked for nine years' jail in cumulative sentences, but the judge accepted the arguments made by Gabbai's attorney, according to which in a similar offense by Arabs who torched a synagogue, the state asked for much shorter sentences.

Gabbai and the other two offenders decided to scrawl graffiti and set fire to the Bilingual School in November of 2014 to protest assimilation between Arabs and Jews, and after they learned that the school had held a ceremony honoring Yasser Arafat a few weeks earlier. They also sought to protest against Arab terror attacks in the city and create a media buzz.

The Tuito brothers are from Beitar Illit; both are members of the controversial anti-assimilation Lehava organization, according to reports. 

Security camera footage shows the arson at about the 3:24 mark: