Police arrest three culprits who burned down Christmas trees in Sakhnin

Joint List leader Ayman Odeh condemned the incident, calling it a "despicable act that attacks the Charismas spirit an the spirit of unity in the Arab society" in Israel.

Palestinians light Christmas tree in Manger Square outside the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, November 30, 2019 (photo credit: REUTERS/MUSSA QAWASMA)
Palestinians light Christmas tree in Manger Square outside the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, November 30, 2019
(photo credit: REUTERS/MUSSA QAWASMA)
Three individuals were arrested in suspected connection with the burning down of two Christmas trees in Sakhnin on the morning of December 26, police reported.
Two were arrested on December 31, and another, a 16-year-old minor, was arrested on Sunday. The arrest of the two was extended in court already, and authorities are waiting for the extension of the third's arrest to be approved.
The Christian residents of the Arab city woke up on the day after Christmas to discover, to their dismay, that the two large trees that were placed in public areas had been set on fire during the night.
Police received two complaints early on Saturday morning, one from the Catholic church and one from the Orthodox church in the city, each stating that the Christmas tree that it had placed outside during the night was set on fire and completely burnt to the ground.
Police officers arrived at the scene and gathered evidence, treating the incident as suspected arson.
“The Israel Police treats incidents of damaging religious symbols and severely offending believers very seriously, and will use all tools at its disposal to apprehend the culprits,” a police statement noted.
Joint List leader MK Ayman Odeh condemned the incident, calling it a “despicable act that attacks the Christmas spirit and the spirit of unity in Arab society” in Israel.
“Our solidarity is stronger than anyone who tries to harm it. We will put new trees in place and make sure that the criminals are sentenced,” he added.
Sakhnin is an Arab city in northern Israel with a Muslim majority and a sizeable Christian minority.