ark lit on fire
ark lit on firePolice Spokesperson

An indictment was filed over the weekend against a 37-year-old resident of Rosh Ha’ayin for three cases of arson against synagogues in Petah Tikva and Rosh Ha'ayin.

The defendant was first arrested about three and a half weeks ago after police received a report of a fire in a synagogue in Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva.

Investigation revealed that the suspect entered the synagogue, grabbed a piece of paper he found at the scene and lit it with matches. Immediately after, the suspect, using the burning paper, burned the curtain over the ark in which Torah scrolls are kept, and left. As a result of the fire, Torah scrolls, the ark, the curtain, and a carpet that was close to the ark were burned.

The investigation following the arrest also revealed that the suspect was linked to two other arson cases. On August 2, the suspect entered the Great Synagogue on Hovevei Zion Street in Petah Tikva and, using the exact same method, set fire to the ark’s curtain, also causing damage to the floor near the ark.

Another event occurred on June 6 this year. The suspect arrived at a synagogue on Yehuda Halevi Street in Rosh Ha’ayin. The synagogue was closed and the suspect took toilet paper, poured oil on it and lit it, setting afire the synagogue's front door before leaving. As a result of the arson, the underside of the front door was burned, as was a rubber rug.

The suspect was arrested on the day of the arson at Beilinson and his arrest was extended several times in Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court. Last Thursday, he was indicted on 3 counts of arson offenses. Along with the indictment, the prosecutor's office also filed a request that the suspect be detained until the end of proceedings.