A Jerusalem school was set ablaze last night by "extremists" who daubed walls with racist slogans against Arabs in a suspected arson attack.
The Max Rayne Hand in Hand School, which has 624 Arab and Israeli students from East and West Jerusalem up to 12th grade, shows signs of having been intentionally set on fire as two classrooms were severely burned.
The source of the fire was found to have been in one of the two nursery classes, in the largest Arabic-Hebrew bilingual institution in the Israeli-run state, which had walls and books charred by flames.
Graffiti in Hebrew was found spray-painted on the walls, in the Pat neighbourhood of Jerusalem, with slogans such as "You can’t coexist with a cancer," "[anti-Arab rabbi Meir] Kahane was right," "Enough with assimilation" and "Death to Arabs," according to Haaretz.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said: "We will not allow pyromaniacs and criminals who take the law into their own hands to disrupt our daily lives."
"We will continue to denounce the extremists and do whatever it takes to restore the quiet to Jerusalem," he added.
Unrest in Jerusalem
Unrest in Jerusalem
A masked Palestinian celebrates the attack on the Jerusalem synagogue holding a poster of the attackers,Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal, during a rally in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip
A masked Palestinian youth wearing a Hamas headband uses a sling-shot to throw back a tear gas canister towards Israeli forces during clashes outside the Israeli-run Ofer military prison following the deadly attack on a Jerusalem synagogue
Masked Palestinians hold axes and a gun as they celebrate with others an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip
Israeli Zaka emergency services volunteers carry the body of one of the two Palestinian assailants who were shot dead while attacking worshippers at a synagogue to an ambulance in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighbourhood in Jerusalem
An Ultra-orthodox jewish man prays at the scene of an attack, by two Palestinians, on a synagogue in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighbourhood in Jerusalem
An Israeli woman cries on a veranda next to a synagogue where a suspected Palestinian attack took place in Jerusalem
An Israeli police officer gestures as he holds a weapon near the scene of an attack at a Jerusalem synagogue
Israeli Zaka emergency services volunteers carry the body of an assailant who was shot dead while attacking a synagogue
Israeli emergency services personnel clean the sidewalk at the scene of an attack, by two Palestinians, on Israeli worshippers at a synagogue in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighbourhood in Jerusalem
Israeli security personnel run next to the synagogue in Har Nof, where a suspected Palestinian attack took place
A Palestinian activist knocks a hole through the wall near East Jerusalem
A masked Palestinian youth burns a tire near Israel's controversial barrier that separates the West Bank town of Abu Dis from Jerusalem
A Palestinian protester throws a stone at Israeli troops during clashes in the West Bank town of Abu Dis near Jerusalem
Palestinian mourners attend the funeral of bus driver Yusuf Hasan al-Ramuni in the West Bank town of Abu Dis from Jerusalem . A Palestinian bus driver was found hanged in his vehicle in Jerusalem, sparking clashes, after what Israel said was an apparent suicide but a colleague said looked like murder
A Palestinian protester tries to hammer a hole through Israel's controversial barrier that separates the West Bank town of Abu Dis from Jerusalem
Palestinian protesters climb a ladder at Israel's controversial barrier that separates the West Bank town of Abu Dis from Jerusalem
Israeli border policeman arrested over shooting of Palestinian boy during West Bank protests
Masked Palestinian youths clash with Israeli security forces in the east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Abu Tor
Israeli fire fighters inspect the scene of an attack in Jerusalem. A Palestinian man rammed his car into a crowded train platform in east Jerusalem and then attacked people with an iron bar, killing one person and injuring 13 in what authorities called a terror attack before he was shot dead by the police. The militant Islamic group Hamas took responsibility for the attack
Israeli police officers walk at the scene of an attack in Jerusalem
Israeli rescue workers and paramedics carry an injured man to an ambulance after a Palestinian man, Ibrahim al-Akri, was shot by Israeli police officers after he drove into a crowd of people
Ultra-Orthodox Jews look on from behind a police line at the scene of a killing when a Palestinian man drove a van into a crowd of police and civilians along the tracks of the Light Rail trolley system in East Jerusalem
At a cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the attack and pledged to act "forcefully" to return "the rule of law" across all parts of the city which has experienced intense disruption after both Arab and Israeli teenagers have been killed - with some described as alleged "acts of revenge".
Students returned to the school today but this is not the first time it has been the target of hate crimes, although this is the first time an attack has happened indoors.
The school CEO Shuli Dichter said, as reported by the Jewish Press: "This is not the first time that our shared civic endeavor has been targeted. Even when they stain our school walls, they will not succeed in destroying our work.
"In addition to strong condemnations and expressions of support, we invite the Israeli public to join us in building civic cooperation among Jews and Arabs in Israel."
Around 300 people rallied outside the school to show their support with banners in Arabic and Hebrew saying "Spread light instead of terror" and "No to hatred, no to racism, yes to coexistence, yes to partnership."
The Balad party, who reject the idea of a solely Israeli country and support the idea of a bi-national state, fiercely condemned the attack as "an act of terror" and criticised the Israeli authorities over their alleged inaction to find the perpetrators.Reuse content