Suspect Held in Synagogue Vandalism

Police here Friday detained one suspect in connection with vandalizing a synagogue in the city’s Givat Shaul industrial zone. The suspect, a 19-year-old resident of the Arab village of Dura near Hebron, works as a guard in a nearby workshop.

Police believe the vandals were looking for money or valuables, and that the incident is connected to earlier ones.

A Torah scroll and hundreds of prayer books were destroyed late last Wednesday at the Chabad Synagogue. According to police, vandals entered the synagogue by smashing a window. They broke into the Holy Ark and slashed the Torah scroll. Hundreds of prayer books were ripped and thrown on the floor. The damage was discovered Thursday evening by American immigrants from the nearby community of Har Nof, who came to prepare the synagogue for Sabbath services.

Chabad Hasidim from all over the city came to the synagogue Thursday night to recite psalms. Many tore their clothes as a sign of mourning. Mayor Teddy Kollek visited the synagogue and promised to provide a new Torah in time for Saturday’s service.

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