Last Updated: November 13, 2023, 10:20 IST
An Israeli school teacher has been arrested for apparently justifying Hamas atrocities during the October 7 attack, according to local media reports. The accused, a history and civics teacher from the central city of Petah Tikva, was held on Friday by police.
His arrest came after the city municipality and the country’s education ministry took the decision to remove him following a complaint. “Israeli soldiers didn’t rape Palestinians? They have since 1948, and this doesn’t make it into the textbooks,” the suspect claimed on a messaging group, according to The Times of Israel. “An occupied nation is allowed to do anything that is needed in order to succeed in its struggle,” he wrote in another instance.
The teacher’s message came in response to the outrage in the wake of last month’s onslaught in southern Israel in which 1,200 people were killed. The suspect faced a court appearance on Friday, with judges extending custody until at least Monday as police pursue their investigation.
Media reports indicate the individual has a history of endorsing terrorism, criticising Israeli security forces, and even eulogising a terrorist. This latest arrest comes as Israeli police are taking a “zero-tolerance policy” toward incitement to violence and support of terrorism as the war against Hamas rages, the Israeli newspaper said.
The report said Israeli police have recorded 48 indictments of this crime and are investigating 381 publications over statements made regarding the war. Israeli Interior Minister Moshe Arbel Earlier this month unveiled a proposal that would allow the country to strip individuals of citizenship if they express solidarity with terror groups or incite terror during times of war.