Police Arrest Israeli-Arab Who Sparked Fireworks During Memorial Day Ceremony

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Mayor of Lod Yair Revivo at a protest.
FILE PHOTO: Mayor of Lod Yair Revivo at a protest.Credit: גיל כהן-מגן

A resident of the southern Israeli city of Lod was arrested on Wednesday for lighting fireworks during a Memorial Day ceremony in honor of the country's fallen soldiers and victims of terror attacks.

According to police, the suspect, 37-year-old Dudu Abraham, shot off the fireworks in order to "sow discord" between the Arab and Jewish communities of Lod.

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Though the police said the suspect is Jewish, the mayor of Lod, Yair Revivo, said he was an Arab. In a Facebook post, he implied that the blasts were set off by the Arab community of Lod in order to disrupt and disrespect Memorial Day ceremonies.

"I went tonight to the main Memorial Day ceremony, and I spoke only two minutes after the fireworks went off," he wrote in the post. He said that the whole speech he only wanted to speak of the fact that "a few minutes ago, as the sirens wailed, the skies were raining with shame (and fireworks)."

The police are already raiding the home near the train station, and I assure you that he who activated the fireworks will curse the day he was born. A red line was crossed. The suns of injustice have fireworks and kites, but we have a glorious country. Tomorrow night on Independence Day there will fireworks of glory, of joy! The terrorists have misery and we have victory. Long live the State of Israel!" the mayor added.

Later in the day, Ravivo clarified that he was saying Abraham was Arab and Jewish, but Arab on his mother's side and that he presented himself as an Arab. Ravivo also claimed that Abraham's real name is Daoud Mahmoud Hasnin and that he lived in the area near the train station in Lod. "From the first moment the fireworks went off I suspected him, and my suspicions proved true," Ravivo said.

Abraham's lawyer, though, says Abraham is Jewish: "He is Jewish, and his father is a Jew."

In the court hearing, the judge said "this act was a defiant act that was meant to disturb the tranquility between Arabs and Jews, and this provocation was only meant to harm the public peace and provoke riots." Police found traces of fireworks in his Abraham's house and decided to extend his detention for 5 days.

Abraham claims he is innocent, and his attorney said he was with his family while the fireworks were shot. His laywer also noted that Abraham hopes to celebrate Independence Day.  

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