A 38-year-old Jerusalem man was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of painting four swastikas that were discovered daubed in the interior of the Lelov synagogue in the city’s Nahlaot neighborhood earlier in the day.
The man, who is expected to be sent for psychiatric observation, is also thought to have tried to burn three books in the synagogue. After questioning the man, police suspect that he was responsible for swastikas painted in a prior incident in a northern Jerusalem neighborhood.
Prior to the suspect’s arrest on Tuesday, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau expressed shock at vandalism at the Lelov synagogue, an ultra-Orthodox house of worship near the center of the city. He called on law enforcement officials to bring the full force of the law against whoever was responsible for the vandalism. “It is unacceptable that worshipers come to the synagogue, which is in the center of the holy city, and are forced to witness such difficult sights,” he added.