Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, head of the Od Yusef Chai Yeshiva, was detained and interrogated by the Israeli police, on Tuesday, in connection with the arson of a mosque in the village of Yasuf, West Bank.The Israeli police said that investigators are still trying to determine the role on the Rabbi in this arson, or whether he has no connection to the attack.
The Rabbi was moved to a Shin Bet investigation center in Petah Tikva. His lawyer told Israel’s Y-net News that the Rabbi denied any connection to the arson.
The Rabbi said that he will not be co-operating with the investigation as they “mistreat the rabbis”. The lawyer said that arresting the Rabbi and having him in detention is a red line crossed by the police and the Shin Bet.
Y-net reported that dozens of settlers protested in front of the Shin Bet facility, whilst Michael Ben-Ari, MK for the National Union Party, said that the conduct of the police are similar to those of oppressive and dark regimes.
The arrest comes after last week’s arrest of several fundamentalist settlers believed to be involved in the torching of the mosque. Five settlers, including two minors, are still held by the police. Two of the detained men are students of two Yeshivas in the area.
The Palestinian mosque was attacked on December 11 last year, and the perpetrators sprayed slurs on its walls. They sprayed “We will burn you all” and “Price Tag” on the walls.