Father of JCC Bomb Hoax Suspect to U.S. Jewry: 'We Apologize From the Bottom of Our Hearts'

In a TV interview, the father did not contest that his son had made the threats, but denied knowing anything about them before the teen's arrest; 'I was in total shock.'

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Haaretz
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The Israeli-American JCC bomb hoax suspect, at a hearing in Rishon Letzion Magistrate's Court, March 23, 2017.
The Israeli-American JCC bomb hoax suspect, at a hearing in Rishon Letzion Magistrate's Court, March 23, 2017.Credit: Baz Ratner/Reuters
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Haaretz

The father of the American-Israeli teenager suspected of making more than 100 fake bomb threats against North American Jewish community centers and institutions expressed great regret for the threats on Monday.

"To all of the Jews in the United States, I want to convey a clear message. We very much apologize from the bottom of our hearts," the father, told Channel 2 television. "We are good Jews. We don't hate you."

"I was in total shock over what happened," said the father, who faced the investigation, which is conducted by police and the FBI, over whether he knew about his son's alleged threats at the time they were purportedly committed. The parents of the suspect, who live with him in the coastal southern city of Ashkelon, have denied knowing anything about the threats before the teen's arrest, but they did not deny the allegations against their son.

"The world has to understand. This boy in different, he's unique" said the father in the television interview.

Following the arrest of the son, who has not been identified publicly, his lawyer, Galit Bash, said her client was suffering from severe medical problems, apparently a reference to benign brain tumors. The father told Channel 2 that his son had had three operations to remove growths.

Last Saturday, teen's mother told Channel 2, weeping and emotional at times, that her son was “not a criminal,” because he “didn’t know what he was doing” when he made the threats. I’m so sorry about what happened, but he’s not guilty – it was the tumor,” she said. “This could happen to anyone who has a tumor on their brain.”

The son will face a hearing Thursday on the authorities' request to extend his detention.

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