Police arrest suspect over Nazi graffiti on Petah Tikva synagogue

Suspect tried to attack police with a screwdriver when they came to arrest him.

August 16, 2018 14:24
2 minute read.
Picture attached of the screwdriver the suspect tried to attack police with (August 16, 2018).

The screwdriver the suspect tried to attack police with (August 16, 2018).. (photo credit: POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)


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Police have arrested a suspect over a vandalism incident in which a swastika and the SS Nazi symbol were spray painted on an external wall of a synagogue in Petah Tikva, a Tel Aviv District spokeswoman said Thursday.

The suspect, a 36-year-old resident of Petah Tikva, is also suspected of spray painting graffiti on branches of the Health Ministry and the National Insurance Institute in the city. He tried to attack police when they arrested him on Wednesday, according to the spokeswoman.

On Tuesday, police received a complaint about the graffiti sprayed on an outer wall of the Mikdash Moshe synagogue on the city’s Ahad Ha’am Street. After launching an investigation, they discovered the two other cases of graffiti, one on the same street at a branch of the Health Ministry and the other at a branch of the National Insurance Institute on Rothschild Street.

Police investigators identified the suspect in connection with all three acts, and on Wednesday afternoon they went to his house to take him for questioning. The suspect refused to open the door and after police succeeded in entering his home, he attacked them with a switched-on electric screwdriver. The police detained him after using a taser on him. The investigation is ongoing.

The suspect was set to be brought for a remand extension hearing at the Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court as the investigation continued.

“The Israel Police condemns violence of any kind, especially against police officers who carry out their duties in order to protect a normal fabric of life in the city,” the police spokeswoman said.

Members of the Mikdash Moshe synagogue said they had been shocked to find Nazi graffiti on their synagogue when they went for morning prayers on Tuesday.

“The worshipers who arrived early in the morning to recite the slichot (‘penitential prayers’) of the month of Elul were as amazed as the rest of us, that in the State of Israel... in 2018, there are such expressions of antisemitism,” wrote Rami Greenberg, a city council member, in a local Facebook group. “The people of Israel went through the terrible Holocaust and established a glorious country, and this was a great victory against all those who wanted to destroy us. We will not allow antisemitism to raise its head in our city. We will continue to educate love of the nation and the homeland and tolerance between all parts of the people of Israel.”

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