The Magistrates Court in Haifa decided on Thursday to keep four settlers, Yeshiva students, in custody as they are the main suspects in spraying racist graffiti on the walls of a mosque in Ibteen village, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, last Tuesday night.The Israeli “Defense Council” denied the charges and said that there is no solid proof that could implicate the detained settlers, and that the suspicions are only based on intelligence information .
Three of the four detained settlers are eighteen years old, students of the Hasidim yeshiva, while the fourth is a student at a Yeshiva in Ramat Hasharon.
Israeli Ynet News reported that the charges include religious offense, conspiracy to commit a crime and vandalism of property.
The Ynet added that the hearing for each of the settlers was held separately in order to prevent them from coordinating their version of the attack. One of the presiding judges refused a demand to have all hearing behind closed doors.
The judge said that the release of the suspects could hinder the progress of the ongoing investigation.
The defense demanded the release of the suspects but the court rejected the demand and extended their remain for six more days while one of the judges said that there is sufficient evidence against them.
The settlers wrote on the walls of the mosque that “war will take place in Judea and Samaria” referring to the occupied West Bank, and also drew the Star of David, and “marked for demolition”.
Mohammad Omariyya, the groundskeeper of the mosque, said that a residents saw three settlers near the mosque in the center of the village, and that when he asked about the reason of them being there, they claimed that they were searching for a lost dog.
It is worth mentioning that the mosque was burnt in 1988.