Israeli jailed for Jerusalem bilingual school arson

Tel Aviv, Dec 1 (IANS) An Israeli court on Tuesday sentenced a Jewish extremist to three years in prison for setting ablaze a bilingual Jewish-Arab school in Jerusalem last year.

The Jerusalem District Court sentenced Yitzhak Gabay, 22, after finding him guilty on charges of arson, destroying property, carrying a knife and supporting a terror organisation, Xinhua news agency reported.

The attack on the school, which serves 1,000 Jewish and Arab students and was founded in 1998, took place in November 2014.

Two other defendants in this attack, both settlers from the West Bank, reached a plea bargain with the state in July, and were sentenced then to two and two-and-half years in prison.

Gabay did admit in his initial police investigation to taking part in the arson, but then refused to sign a plea agreement with the state and backtracked on his admission.

The three defendants were members of Lehava (flame in Hebrew), a racist organisation opposing co-existence between Jews and Arabs and interfaith marriages. Other than setting fire to the school property, the defendants spray-painted racial slurs including “death to Arabs” and “enough with assimilation”.

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