‘Psychotic’ Synagogue Vandal Free to House Arrest

Judge says psychosis is not a reason to jail a man who repeatedly desecrated a synagogue.

Maayana Miskin ,

Vandalism at Haohel synagogue, Bat Yam
Vandalism at Haohel synagogue, Bat Yam
Israel news photo: Moetza Datit Bat Yam

A man who is accused of repeatedly vandalizing a synagogue in Bat Yam has been released to house arrest.

His release follows the rejection of an appeal aimed at keeping him in police custody.

During the appeal hearing, police warned that the suspect appears to be psychotic. Judge David Rosen ruled that if the suspect is suffering from psychosis or mental illness, that is not a sufficient reason to keep him in prison.

Police will be able to continue their investigation even if the suspect is under full house arrest rather than in custody, he determined.

On Tuesday, Tel Aviv Magistrates Court Judge Ido Duryan had ordered the suspect released to house arrest, a ruling that was met with an immediate appeal.

The Haohel synagogue in Bat Yam was desecrated several times, causing significant upset among worshipers. The synagogue was established by Holocaust survivors, and several of the regular worshipers are Holocaust survivors.