Court adds to prison terms for arsonists of Jewish-Arab school


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Supreme Court added to the prison sentences of two brothers who pleaded guilty to an arson attack on a Jewish-Arab school in Jerusalem.

On Sunday, the sentences for Nahman and Shalom Twitto, 18 and 22, respectively, were each increased by eight months in response to an state appeal of what the state viewed as lenient sentences handed down in July. Nahman Twitto had been sentenced to 2 years and his brother 2 1/2 years, as well as some financial reparations.

The two were convicted as part of a plea agreement in April for setting fire to a classroom at 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.

The Twittos and Yitzhak Gabai, who was found guilty in September of the arson attack, are active members of Lehava, a far-right organization that tries to prevent marriages and coexistence programs between Jews and Arabs.

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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