Israeli brothers jailed for Jewish-Arab school arson

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 22, 2015 11:18 AM

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An Israeli court jailed two brothers from a far-right Jewish group on Wednesday for an arson attack on a Jerusalem school that had been a rare symbol of co-existence in the riven city.

Shlomo and Nahman Twito were sentenced to 2 years and 2 and 1/2 years in prison respectively for the overnight Nov. 29 attack, in which a classroom at the Hand in Hand school was torched and "Death to Arabs" daubed on a wall in the yard.

No one was hurt in the incident.

Israeli officials identified Shlomo and Nahman Twito, aged 21 and 19 and residents of a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, as members of the far-right anti-Arab group Lehava, which has disavowed the arson attack.

More than 600 children attend Hand in Hand, which runs from pre-school to high school and has an equal number of Jewish and Arab pupils. There are four other such schools in the Hand to Hand network in Israel.

Jerusalem District Court said it convicted the brothers based on their confessions. They smiled and chanted "How good God is" as they were led away after Wednesday's sentencing, Israeli media said.

Since Israeli-Palestinian peace talks stalled over a year ago, grassroots violence has simmered. Israel's security service have been trying to crack down on anti-Arab hate crimes.

(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)