Police, Shin Bet irked over mosque-arson suspects release

“We wouldn’t have arrested them if there was not real suspicions against them,” security source tells ‘Post’.

yasuf mosque book 190.114 (photo credit: B'Tselem)
yasuf mosque book 190.114
(photo credit: B'Tselem)
Two men arrested in January in connection with a December 11 arson attack on a West Bank mosque were released to 60 days house arrest by the Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court on Sunday.
Zvi Succot and Shlomo Gilbert, both aged 20, have been forbidden by the court from contacting others, and a no-exit travel ban has been imposed on them.
Last week, efforts by Judea and Samaria police and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) to extend the custody of Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, head of the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva in the Yitzhar settlement near Nablus, who was arrested over suspicions that he was linked to the attack, proved ineffective, when the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court freed him, and the Jerusalem District Court rejected an appeal by police against the ruling.
The Magistrate’s Court ruled there was insufficient evidence to hold Shapira.
Three minors from Yitzhar also arrested last month in connection with the attack have been released to house arrest, meaning that none of the six suspects arrested by the security forces in connection with the attack remain in custody.
On the record, the security forces will not criticize the courts’ decisions. But privately, they remain convinced that the arrests were justified.
The five suspects under house arrest will remain the focus of the investigation.
“We wouldn’t have arrested them if there was not real suspicions against them,” one security source told The Jerusalem Post. “We don’t arrest people for no reason.”
Dozens of police officers and Shin Bet agents raided Yitzhar early on January 18, and seized items described as “cold weapons,” such as road spikes, from the yeshiva.
The arrests came a month after a mosque in the West Bank village of Yasuf was set alight. The arsonists left behind Hebrew graffiti and mentioned the “price tag” policy employed by far-right activists, which involves attacking Palestinians and damaging their property in response to the demolition of illegal settlement outposts by the IDF and police.