Jewish-Arab school arsonist sentenced to jail

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — One of the men found guilty in an arson attack on a Jewish-Arab school in Jerusalem was sentenced to three years in jail.

Yitzhak Gabai, 24, was convicted in September and sentenced on Tuesday in Jerusalem District Court. He also was ordered to pay tens of thousands of shekels in compensation to the school.

A fire was set in the classroom of the Max Rayne Hand In Hand Jerusalem School on Nov. 29, 2014. “Death to Arabs” and “There is no coexistence with cancer” were among the anti-Arab epithets spray-painted on the walls.

Brothers Nahman and Shalom Twitto, ages 18 and 22, were convicted as part of a plea bargain in April and sentenced to prison terms of 2 and 2 1/2 years, as well as some financial reparations. Gabai refused a plea bargain. The Twittos and Gabai are all active members of Lehava, an organization that tries to prevent marriages and coexistence programs between Jews and Arabs.

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The Hand In Hand Jerusalem School is Israel’s largest joint Arab-Jewish school and the only such primary and high school in the city. Five Hand in Hand schools are located throughout the country.

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