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Judge Moshe Gilad reported to his chambers in the Haifa District Court yesterday as usual. Court President Judge Bilha Gillor and other colleagues showed concern and offered their support.

"He is just fine. He came to work as usual. Someone whose car was torched comes to work the same day? I can't imagine that," a senior court official said.

After speaking with other judges, Gilad entered the courtroom and, together with judges Yosef Elron and Menahem Raniel, heard a number of criminal cases. During one of the cases, an appeal against a conviction for assaulting a police office, Gilad appeared relaxed and authoritative, as usual.

The lawyers who appeared before also said they thought that Gilad behaved as usual. "If I hadn't been told I wouldn't have known about the incident," Tamar Ullman, who studied law with Gilad at Tel Aviv University, said. She said she thought the attack was a case of mistaken identity.

"I have no doubt about it. Criminals have no connection to Gilad or [a reason] to harm him. Gilad was an excellent defense attorney and judge and I don't believe he has enemies among criminals," Ullman said.

Likely not a grudge

Another defense attorney, who spoke anonymously, said that Gilad has not been a lawyer for two years and that the chances that criminals would hold a grudge against him for so long were very slim.

The lawyer said that even as a judge Gilad does not handle serious criminal cases. However, another veteran defense attorney raised the possibility that the arson attack was connection to Gilad's past as a criminal defense attorney.