The memorial for slain Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin near Tel Aviv City Hall was desecrated late Thursday night by a man whose family was killed in the 2001 terror attack at the Jerusalem “Sbarro” restaurant.
The attack was in protest of the government’s decision to free 1,027 Palestinian prisoners as part of a deal to release captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Two of the prisoners were responsible for the “Sbarro” attack.
Shvuel Schijveschuurder, a 27-year-old from Givat Shmuel who lost his parents and three of his siblings in the attack, vandalized the memorial spraying the words “price tag” and “release Yigal Amir”, the Israeli man who is serving a life sentence in prison for assassinating the former prime minister in 1995.
The memorial was also covered in white paint.
Schijveschuurder was arrested by Tel Aviv City Hall security guards and brought into the police for questioning. The security guards who caught the suspect said that he seemed confused when he was arrested, and he told them that his family members were hurt in a terror attack.
Police later released Schijveschuurder on parole, saying the young man admitted to the act; he was ordered to stay away from Tel Aviv for 15 days.
Schijveschuurder has gotten involved with drugs since the attack in 2001, and has been arrested on several occasions. When he discovered that two of the people responsible for the attack were among the prisoners being freed as part of the deal to release captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, he told police that he decided to take action in protest of the deal.
Schijveschuurder is currently being held at a Tel Aviv police station. Police have not yet decided whether he will be released, and he will probably be brought before a judge to determine his remand.
In 2009, Schijveschuurder joined families who had lost loved ones in terror attacks to protest the release of prisoners responsible for terror attacks as part of a deal to release the captive soldier, in front of the Shalit family’s tent in Jerusalem.
“The Shalit’s struggle is legitimate, but if his release is contingent upon the freeing of prisoners, then the [Shalit] family should join us, the bereaved family,” Schijveschuurder said.
He added he felt “betrayed by the state of Israel and the judicial system”, claiming that if the people responsible for the terror attack that killed his family were released, he would hunt them down like Wiesenthal hunted down the Nazis.
“Price tag” attacks have been on the rise in recent months, with attackers setting an Upper Galilee mosque on fire in the village of Tuba-Zangariyye earlier this month. The entire interior of the mosque went up in flames, causing heavy damage, and holy books inside the mosque were burned. Graffiti with the words “price tag” was found on the wall of the mosque.
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