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The aftermath of the attack (source: Twitter)

Jewish extremists are believed to be behind the firebombing of a “coexistence” primary school in Jerusalem, in what community leaders say is a growing “wave of racism” spreading across country.

The arsonists struck on Saturday evening and left school walls daubed with hate messages including “Death to Arabs” and “Kahana was Right,” in reference to Rabbi Meir Kahane, who was jailed for planning violent attacks against Palestinians.

Another message left at the Hand-in-Hand school, written in Hebrew, read: “No coexistence with cancer.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has a policy of destroying the homes of Palestinians involved in violent attacks, condemned the targeting of the Hand-in-Hand bilingual school, where assailants used textbooks to help start the fire.

Education Minister Shai Piron described it as a “violent and despicable incident” and “a serious affront to the fabric of Jewish-Arab relations”.

The 634-pupil school sits on the border of West and East Jerusalem. In recent years it has been the subject of several so-called “price tag” attacks, in which hate crimes are committed by Jewish extremists.
Headmistress Nadia Knane said one of the first-grade classrooms had been badly damaged by the fire, and that the attackers had tried to set alight another classroom.
The assailants had piled up textbooks and set them on fire.

“After I saw what was written, I realised it was not just a fire,” said Headmistress Nadia Knane, inspecting one of the first-grade classrooms badly damaged by the fire. “These words have a lot of meaning.”


B3umnUCCMAAtAAvJustice Minister Tzipi Livni said there would be “zero tolerance” shown to anyone behind such acts, while Netanyahu vowed to return “law and order” to the city.

As teachers sifted through the charred remains of work and materials, hundreds of people protested against the violence. “In past months, we’ve witnessed a wave of racism,” said Shuli Dichter of the Hand-in Hand foundation. “It is dangerous.”