An Israeli woman was arrested on Wednesday after surveillance footage obtained by police showed her setting a car on fire at a Jerusalem gas station the preceding day, when a man refused to give her a cigarette.
In the video, which has since gone viral internationally, the unidentified woman, who is in her mid- 30s, can be seen approaching the man while he is pumping gas into his car as his brother sits in the back seat.
Following a brief exchange, she is then seen turning around, pulling a lighter from her pocket and then setting the gas pump on fire.
The man pulled the pump out of the car, splashing burning gas on the ground and causing the car’s rear to immediately burst into flames.
The man’s brother fled from the vehicle and, remarkably, no one was wounded during what could have easily resulted in a massive explosion.
“The car owner reacted quickly by pulling out the pump that was on fire from his tank and fleeing,” said Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld on Wednesday.
“Petrol station workers then extinguished the fire.”
Rosenfeld said the woman was found within 24 hours, adding that despite the video’s clear depiction of her setting the vehicle on fire, she denied any involvement.
Following her arrest, a judge at Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court extended her remand for five days, ordering her to undergo a psychological evaluation.
The woman’s mother told the court that her daughter has been suffering from mental health issues for many years.
“In recent months there has been a deterioration in the condition of my daughter,” she said. “I went to the district psychiatrist dozens of times and did not get an answer. I even turned to the Health Ministry and no one helped.”
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