An 18-year-old youth was arrested by Israel Police officers on Saturday evening, on suspicion of setting fire to the home of a Rosh Ha'ayin daycare provider suspected of child abuse.
The suspect, a soldier from Samaria who is on leave, was interrogated at the police station and will be brought Sunday to the Petah Tikva Magistrates' Court for an extension of his arrest.
The fire, which broke out Saturday morning, forced the evacuation of several neighboring homes.
According to the Fire and Rescue Authority, preliminary investigations support the belief that the fire was caused by arson.
Footage from security cameras, publicized by Thursday by Israel Police, showed the 25-year-old woman who lives in the home abusing the children in her home daycare, who were aged 3 months to 3 years. Police have arrested her.
The footage shows the suspect forcing the toddlers to stand for long periods in the corner and facing the wall, forcing them to eat their own vomit, tying the hands of one child behind his back and to the chair and him crying until he fell to the floor with his hands still tied, and hitting the children with her hands and a towel.
During the investigation, the daycare provider's assistant was called to the police station, and it was found that she had witnessed all of the abuse and had herself acted violently towards the children. The assistant was arrested and brought to the Petah Tikva Magistrates' Court for an extension of her arrest. However, she was released under limiting conditions, including house arrest. The legal processes against the assistant are ongoing.
The daycare provider herself was called to the police station on June 21, and the Petah Tikva Magistrates' Court has extended her arrest several times. This week, the prosecutor submitted a statement of intent to indict the suspect, and requested she remain under arrest until the completion of legal proceedings against her.