Two Beitar Jerusalem Fans Indicted for Setting Fire to Soccer Club's Offices

La Familia members threw Molotov cocktails at soccer club's offices in preplanned arson attack, indictment says.

Two Beitar Jerusalem fans were charged Wednesday morning in Jerusalem District Court with setting fire to the soccer club's offices two weeks ago to protest management's decision to sign two Muslim players.

The two, Evyatar Yosef and Matan Navon, both from Kiryat Gat, are members of La Familia, the team's hardcore fan club known for its racist chants and extreme right-wing views.

According to the indictment, on February 8 the two prepared and threw Molotov cocktails into the Beitar office in the Bayit Vegan neighborhood of Jerusalem, then fled.  

Yosef and Navon left their homes in Kiryat Gat, leaving their cellular phones behind in order to prevent their whereabouts from being traced, and brought knitted hats and gloves to wear to avoid being recognized, according to the charge sheet.

They then drove to a gas station, where they filled two plastic bottles with gas and bought several lighters. When they arrived in Jerusalem they parked their car some distance from the Beitar office and training compound.

On their way, the suspects passed a residential building and took two letters from a mailbox. When they reached the compound, they smashed the office's windows with rocks, poured gasoline from the bottles inside the building, set the letters on fire with lighters, after having previously dipped them in gasoline, and threw them inside. When the fire started blazing they fled to their car.

The signing of two Muslim players from Chechnya, Zaur Sadayev and Gabriel Kadiyev, sparked an outcry among many of Beitar's diehard fans, who regularly taunt Arab players from other teams and were proud that their team had never had an Arab or Muslim player.

Reuters