Teen who admitted starting fire is released

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The teen arrested after admitting to starting the Carmel Forest fire was released from police custody to house arrest.

The teen admitted to smoking a nargila water pipe and dumping its embers into an open area before returning to school last week, the day the blaze erupted, near his Druze village of Ussfiya.

Police said Tuesday that they would continue to pursue the investigation, while the boy’s father told reporters that that his son admitted to the crime under duress.

"I regret the loss of life in the fire, but I refuse to let my son pay the price," the father said.

On Monday, a Haifa court released teenage brothers from the same village who had been accused of lighting a bonfire near their home that sparked the blaze.
 
 

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