Palestinian suspected in synagogue fire

Sunday, October 28, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

Israeli police are relatively certain that Palestinian assailants are responsible for fire that destroyed a synagogue in a small Jewish community in Samaria (the so-called "West Bank") late last week.

The fire was set overnight Thursday, though local residents only discovered the attack the next morning when they arrived for Friday prayers and found the synagogue charred and gutted and all of their prayer books and religious texts destroyed.

Police officials cited by Ynet said there was little doubt the attack was nationalistic in nature, and reported finding foot tracks heading in the direction of the nearby Palestinian town of Ramallah.

The synagogue was located in the small community of Yad Yair, which is named after Yair Mendelson, an Israeli who was murdered by Palestinians during the first intifada in the late 1980s. A memorial to Mendelson that stands adjacent to the synagogue was defaced by the assailants.

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