The Daystar studio was burned to the ground in an arson attack.
(photo credit: JONATHAN GOFF/CBN NEWS)
Police have confirmed that an arson attack occurred over the weekend at Daystar’s Jerusalem studio.
“We have opened an investigation,” Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told The Jerusalem Post. “All directions are being looked at.”
Daystar is a pro-Israel Christian network. The studio is located in Abu Tor and had been undergoing extensive renovations for more than a year. The facility was meant to celebrate the completion of those renovations with the network’s key stakeholders at an event on June 1. Now, the event will have to be rescheduled.
“As many of you know, Daystar’s Jerusalem studio was recently destroyed by arson,” wrote owner Marcus Lamb in a statement on the network’s website. “Reduced to a pile of rubble and ashes. I’m certain the enemy thought this attack would be fatal to our efforts to share the Gospel across Israel. But as usual, he’s wrong.”
The fire was set around 2:15 a.m. on Saturday, according to Chris Mitchell, who first broke the story for the Christian Broadcasting Network.
Dave Sharett, the contractor overseeing the renovations told the Post
that security cameras captured the arsonist in the act.
“They see the explosion, then the fire,” he described. “The next second, you see a rope going over the balcony and him climbing down the rope. He goes down to the floor below, gathers the rope and runs off.”
Sharett said police have two theories about the incident. The first is that the crime was religiously motivated because “the TV station is Christian and its Ramadan, and Muslims are upset and blah, blah, blah,” he said.
The other theory is that it was an Arab employee of an adjacent studio who recently became upset with some of the workers at the Daystar studio. That employee has not returned to work since the incident, according to Sharett.
“We’ll find the truth,” he said, noting that there has not been a final assessment of damages but that “if it didn’t burn, it melted,” including all of the media equipment.
Mitchell said that Daystar, which is owned by Lamb and his wife, Joni, is one of the “most important and popular Christian networks in the US and around the world.” The Jerusalem studio was inaugurated in October 2009.
Similarly, Joshua Reinstein, who formerly filmed his “Israel Now News” show in the studio each month for seven years, said that, “Daystar is a real voice for Israel.” He noted that the network broadcasts its programming in 191 countries.
“If it really is arson, it is a real hit for those who want to see good news come from Israel,” Reinstein told the Post.
Lamb said he will not let the arson stop his work in Israel.
“Even now, we’re exploring every option and discovering how best to rebuild on a foundation the Lord laid for us long ago,” he wrote on his site. “Just as it was in the days of Nehemiah, who rebuilt the crumbling walls around Jerusalem, God will stand with us as we remain fully committed to the work of His Kingdom.”
“Many Christians believe in times like these that God will redeem the situation and turn what the enemy meant for evil to good,” said Mitchell. “It’s something I have heard a lot after this attack.”sign up to our newsletter
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