+972 Magazine's Stories of the Week

Directly In Your Inbox

Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

Israeli arrested on suspicion of arson of asylum seekers' homes

A 20-year-old Israeli from south Tel Aviv has been arrested last night in connection to the arson attacks on four asylum seekers’ houses and one kindergarten. Police says the young man is suspected of having committed the attacks on racist grounds, in an attempt to force non-Israeli residents out of the neighborhood. The suspect will be brought before a court this morning, and police are asking to extend his detention until the investigation is complete. Updates will follow.

Update, 15:15: A Tel Aviv judge has extended the remand of the young man arrested in relation to the arson attacks. The man is a resident of Shapira neighborhood, has a criminal record, and according to police was recently arrested for throwing eggs at a Sudanese asylum seeker. He is now suspected of committing several acts of arson. The court accepted the request made by police to extend his detention pending further interrogation until Wednesday morning.

Forensics take pictures of unused Molotov cocktails (Oren Ziv / Activestills)

Forensic workers take pictures of unused Molotov cocktails (Oren Ziv / Activestills)

Read also:

Refugee homes, kindergarten torched in arson attack in Tel Aviv

Community shaken after night of arson attacks on African refugees

‘What if refugees were to fire bomb Israeli houses?’

Before you go...

A lot of work goes into creating articles like the one you just read. And while we don’t do this for the money, even our model of non-profit, independent journalism has bills to pay.

+972 Magazine is owned by our bloggers and journalists, who are driven by passion and dedication to the causes we cover. But we still need to pay for editing, photography, translation, web design and servers, legal services, and more.

As an independent journalism outlet we aren’t beholden to any outside interests. In order to safeguard that independence voice, we are proud to count you, our readers, as our most important supporters. If each of our readers becomes a supporter of our work, +972 Magazine will remain a strong, independent, and sustainable force helping drive the discourse on Israel/Palestine in the right direction.

Support independent journalism in Israel/Palestine Donate to +972 Magazine today
View article: AAA
Share article
Print article

    * Required


    1. This is rather fast police work. It is important to note that, I think. Of course, the police may be in error, or have failed to capture all assailants, but they can nonetheless be taking the event quite seriously. The word industry of this conflict tends to brush everyone as good or bad; it is probably most often not that simple.

      Reply to Comment
    2. a

      @Greg, it’s faster in the West Bank where they round up all the men in a village and bring them to the army base!

      Reply to Comment
    3. Dee Coombes

      Greg, deciding whether the setting fire to people’s homes and a kindergarten is bad does not exactly call for fine judgement – it cannot be anything else but bad. Trying to ethnically cleanse any area through terror is also unequivocally bad. The people who do bad things are not always completely bad and not always bad for all time but there are no good motives for this. I wonder whether the police would have done anything at all if the homes and the kindergarten had belonged to Palestinians.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Woody

      So when do the crowds start gathering outside of his home demanding it be demolished with the state ready and willing to carry that out in addition to the deportation of his family?

      Oh yeah, he’s not Palestinian. I forgot. He will probably get an army promotion and cult status among the neighborhood. Right wing Knesset members will surely carry his banner, rather than condemn his deeds.

      Reply to Comment
    5. caden

      Wow, so the police made an arrest. Who would have expected that from the jackbooted, racist, apartheid, zio-nazis.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Jack

      The problem isnt that they never arrest people, its more interesting to note the verdict, which is often whitewasing. Atleast when it comes to the IDF.

      Reply to Comment
    7. caden

      Well, the guy who dipped his hands in the reservists blood in the Ramallah polica station is out already. And so are a lot of other guys. Including Samir Kuntar. So, what should the penalty here.

      Reply to Comment

      The demonstration on Mesilat Yesharim st. in Shapira neighbourhood was sometimes ridiculous. The activists were so shy because of being from well off neighbourhoods, or, even if they indeed live in the south Tel-Aviv, they were still raised in much better off neighbourhoods and they have their “rear” there – supportive parents, and therefore they felt that they were not “genuine” representatives of the poor neighbourhoods – that, instead of expressing solidarity with those really downtrodden, the migrants, they soon started to shout to the aggressive arsim on the opposite side of the street: “Shapira neighbourhood, we are not against you!”. As if these arsim were appointed by Shapira residents to represent them. It was really outrageous, that intelligent people “bought” the demagoguery of these arsim that “the foreigners must live in Ramat Aviv rather than in Shapira”. Everybody understands, that they cannot afford appartments in affluent neighbourhoods, that if these migrants and refuge seekers are here to stay, they will stay in poor neighbourhoods, such as Shapira. The shy activists thought: “if all residents of the neighbourhood say, that these migrants are dangerous, than they probably know better than us”.
      Common. I live for half of my life in south Tel-Aviv. I lived in Florentin for many years, in Shapira for one year, after that in Levinsky for a year, after that on Shoken st. for two years, now I live on Carmel market. All these areas are full of people of very different backgrounds and I can tell responsibly to all those who may doubt this fact, that the migrants are the least dangerous of all. The most dangerous are the arsim of the kind that shouted anti-immigrant, anti-leftist and racist slogans on Mesilat Yesharim couple of days ago.
      Their racism has its roots in the very base of the capitalist system: one raises by getting someone else down. The weak populations seek somebody weaker than them to vent their anger and to feel their own superiority. Such damn dialectics.

      Reply to Comment
    9. There is no reason to deride this arrest by tainting it with other Israeli State policy. All you acheive is a univocal party line which yeilds told you sos from the likes of Caden. I tell you that in deep Jim Crow America attacks against blacks often went uninvestigaged. Lynching went unprosecuted.
      If you deny any action by the police which might be said to reach for justice you will never expand thought within Israel. I view some of the above comments as about as dull minded as some of those present on this site by the policing right. You build change as you can. If the police do right in this case, perhaps the chances of right in other cases and areas can improve. I will not disdain the possibility that the Israeli police have arrested someone who might have planned further acts for later. If you want to retard these racial responses you need to have the police enforce the law–in this instance. How do you think Federal agents in the US were received when they entered the seggregated South to enforce the law? Not well, I assure you. Look at the American South today.
      Hasbara yeilds anti-Hasbara. Both are the product of blindness.

      Reply to Comment
    10. Piotr Berman

      Quick arrest means that the suspect already had a police file matching the current facts.

      Some vandalism and hooliganism is present in most places. But one may ask where the hooligans get their ideas from — usually this is not the most inventive bunch. Unfortunately, there are quite a few politicians and rabbis that can be fingered here.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Piotr–where I live, Phoenix, Arizona, there was a hate killing sometime after 9-11. A man wearing a truban, from India and not Muslim, was killed by someone who, turns out, day or so before was in a bar railling against Muslims–and egged on by barmates. There is similarly no doubt that background hatred helped fuel this present man’s action in firebombing. And I have no doubt that some public statements by some rabbis are part of that background.
      I am just glad that the police seem to have found the assailant. It may even be that some in the police, perhaps involved in the case, or not, may think a bit more about what hate speech does. This is why I will not belittle the Israeli police in the regard, sounding off on what happens in the West Bank. Progress sometimes is one mind at a time.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Mareli

      I agree with Greg. There may be others responsible as well, but the person arrested had prior behavior which made him an immediate suspect. Let us hope that this sort of racist attack subsides.

      Reply to Comment