Israeli Supreme Court rules to release arson suspect

The Israeli Supreme Court ruled to release the Umm al-Fahm resident who was charged with starting a fire during the wave of fires and arson attacks in Israel about two months ago. Ali Mahajnar was the only suspect who was charged with arson.
Mahajnar Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

The Israeli Supreme Court ruled today (Tuesday) to release 24-year-old Umm al-Fahm resident Ali Mahajnar, who was arrested on suspicion of setting a fire during the wave of fires and arson attacks that hit Israel in November 2016. Mahajnar was charged with setting an orchard on fire. However, he claimed that he only set fire to a trash can near his home.

“I want to send a message to the Umm al-Fahm Mayor,” Mahajnar said shortly after he was arrested. “This arrest is the result of my neighborhood being neglected. When they don’t come to pick up the trash, the result in the end is that I will come and set fire to the things there.”

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Throughout his arrest, Mahajnar made similar statements, claiming that he was the victim in this story. Mahajnar’s relatives also claimed that he only set fire to a trash can and did not burn an entire orchard.

Israeli Supreme Court Judge Meni Mazuz said during the hearing that he accepts the appeal that was filed and that the prosecution needs to state whether it agrees it release Mahajnar without the court handing down an explanatory decision. The judge also noted that extending Mahajnar’s detention is an issue due to the problematic circumstances of the case and the original arrest.

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