Israel arrests 10 Jewish extremists from Lehava group

12:00 Dec 16 2014 Jerusalem

Israel arrests 10 Jewish extremists from Lehava group
A woman inspects the damage of an arson attack that targeted first-grade classrooms at a Jewish-Arab school near the Palestinian
neighborhood of Beit Safafa in southern Jerusalem, Nov. 30, 2014
(AFP/File Ahmad Gharabli)

JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israeli police on Tuesday arrested 10 members of extremist anti-Palestinian group Lehava which has been linked to an attack last month on a Jewish-Palestinian school.

"Ten suspects, members of the Lehava organization, have been arrested for questioning following incitement and calls for racist acts of violence and terror," the police said in a statement.

Among those detained was the head of Lehava, which saw three of its members arrested last week on suspicion of torching a classroom at the Hand-in-Hand school, a rare symbol of coexistence in Jerusalem.

The November 29 attack saw the classroom badly damaged and slogans including "Death to Arabs" and "There's no coexistence with cancer" scrawled on the walls in Hebrew.

It sparked a wave of condemnation and took place amid months of rising tensions and unrest in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior officials condemned the attack at the 624-pupil school on the Green Line separating west Jerusalem from the annexed eastern sector.

Lehava activists follow the teachings of the late Meir Kahana, a virulently anti-Arab rabbi whose Kach party was banned in Israel, and its members fight against intermarriage.

Kahana was murdered in New York in 1990, but his ideology still inspires loyalty among Jewish extremists.
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