Facebook (illustration)
Facebook (illustration) Thinkstock

An Israeli Jewish man was arrested Saturday evening, after he posted a message on Facebook, calling for arson attacks on Arab villages in retaliation for the recent wave of terror arsons against Israeli communities.

Hundreds of fires broke out across Israel last week, with the security establishment blaming acts of arson for roughly half of the blazes. The remaining fires have been attributed to the unseasonably dry, windy weather.

The arson attacks destroyed more than 400 homes in Haifa and forced 85,000 residents to flee. Dozens of homes in other towns across Israel have also been destroyed.

In response to the wave of arson attacks, Yair Grinshpan, 37, posted a series of messages last week calling for acts of retribution on Arab villages.

“[There are] people trying to burn us, I’m in favor of burning them back,” Grinshpan wrote last Thursday on Facebook.

Later that day Grinshpan added: “The fate of Haifa and Jerusalem will be the fate of [the Arab city of] Umm El-Fahm – burn them in revenge, those bastards.”

“Just burn Arab villages in revenge; this is war,” added Grinshpan, “for all the leftists who believe in peace, know that the Palestinian Authority is happily calling for more places [in Israel] to be torched.”

Then, on Friday, Grinshpan appeared to praise some reprisal arsons against Arabs, though it is unclear which, if any, incidents he was referring, as none were observed.

“Thank God, we’re burning them too.”

On Saturday evening police took Grinshpan into custody for alleged incitement to violence after receiving a complaint regarding his comments. Grinshpan was released on Sunday.

Police have arrested 37 individuals suspected of arson, 18 of them Israeli Arabs. In addition, five individuals are under investigation for incitement to commit arson, including two Arabs and five Jewish Israelis.

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