Â Temple in northern city’s Neve Sha’anan neighborhood torched Sunday night, causing damage to surroundings. Another synagogue set on fire in same neighborhood last week
Is there a serial synagogue arsonist at work in Haifa’s Neve Sha’anan neighborhood?On Sunday night, arsonists set fire to a synagogue on Tichon Street in the northern city. Luckily, the fire extinguished on its own and no serious damage was caused.
Last week, a bookcase of holy books was set ablaze in a different synagogue in the same neighborhood
Haifa Police are investigating the two incidents. No suspects have been arrested as of yet.Â
Worshippers arriving for the morning prayer service Monday morning were shocked to discover that a curtain had been burned and damage caused to a number of benches. The worshippers called the police. The police summoned a fire investigator from the fire department and criminologists.
The fire department’s investigation revealed that the fire was the work of an arsonist, who apparently reached his hand into the building through the window and set the curtain on fire. An investigation was officially initiated by the police once the incident was clearly established as a case of arson.
‘Infuriating and frustrating’
Last Tuesday, another synagogue was torched in the neighborhood. The synagogue on Netiv Hen Street sustained more serious damage than the one in this week’s incident. A bookcase holding prayer books and books of the Pentateuch was burned down. Investigators established that this was also a case of arson.
“It is infuriating and frustrating and the entire station is working to solve these cases,” said Haifa Police Chief Ahuva Tomer. She confirmed that the background to the arson still remains unclear, but committed that the perpetrators will be caught.
Neve Sha’anan’s neighborhood rabbi, Naftali Weisblum, said that he knew of no reason why anyone would conspire against the synagogues.
“We must take precautions from now on not to leave any way for someone to enter and cause damage,” he said.