A group of Israeli Arabs was sent to prison for setting fire to a concert venue they deemed offensive to Islam.
By: World Israel News Staff
An Israeli court in Lod on Monday sent three Israeli Arabs to prison after they were convicted of setting fire to an Arab city’s soccer field in an attempt to cancel an “Arab Idol” concert that was scheduled to be held at the venue.
The three, supporters of the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group, committed the act of arson because they believed that the performance “harmed the core principles of Islam.”
The three were convicted of supporting a terror organization, conspiring to commit a crime, trespassing, arson and other offenses, and were sentenced to terms ranging from 28 months to three years behind bars.
The group was also charged, but not convicted, of attempting to dig a tunnel from the Palestinian city of Tul Karem to Israel, through which they planned to smuggle weapons.
The three Arabs viewed the Arab Idol show as “a heretical act against Islam,” and therefore infiltrated the stadium in the city of Teibah, set fire to large amount of equipment and bleachers, causing damages of NIS 78,000.
The concert was held despite the arson. After the concert began with some 3,000 in attendance, one of the three called the police and told them they had planted a bomb which was about to go off in 10 minutes time.
The court ruled that the defendants committed their actions based on their “extreme Islamic ideology,” with which they justified the use of violence to stop a concert they believed was offensive to Islam.
The court also stressed that the attack was perpetrated against other Israeli Arabs who were to attend the concert, and was an attempt “to prevent a public cultural event which contradicted their beliefs, in an attempt to force upon others their radical views.”