Suspect charged with setting Rabbi Lior’s car on fire indicted

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Rabbi Lior’s destroyed car; Photo credit: Beit Orot

Monday, August 8, 2022, 13:52 The Jerusalem District Attorney’s office added a clause, paragraph 9, to the indictment of Mohamed Abu Ghanam, who is suspected of setting Rabbi Dov Lior’s car on fire in the Beit Orot neighborhood of Jerusalem. Paragraph 9 describes how smoke from the burning car penetrated the building, indicating the great danger posed to the Jewish families living in the apartments: “As a result of the defendant’s acts, the car went up in flames and its front part was completely burnt. Smoke also penetrated the apartments in the building. Firefighters who arrived on the scene extinguished the fire.”

The original indictment charged Abu Ghanam with arson, two counts of attempted arson, manufacturing weapons, and racially motivated malicious vehicular vandalism. According to the indictment, Abu Ghanam, motivated by racism, decided to set a car on fire in the Beit Orot parking lot in the A-Tor neighborhood of Jerusalem, which is located under a building and serves the Jewish residents of the building.

On the night between Thursday (July 21) and Friday, Abu Ghanam arrived at the parking lot equipped with a plastic bottle filled with a flammable substance, and another bottle whose contents are unknown. He tried to pour the flammable substance on a white Hyundai and set it on fire, but without success.

The following morning, Abu Ghanam decided to return to the parking lot and set another Jewish car on fire. Abu Ghanam arrived close to the Rockefeller Museum, an archeological museum affiliated with the Israel Museum, which houses the offices of the Israel Antiquities Authorities. He threw a Molotov cocktail toward the gate of the museum, which caught fire, and left the site.

He continued to the Beit Orot parking lot, poured the flammable substance on the Mazda belonging to Rabbi Lior and set it on fire. Then Abu Ghanam left the parking lot.

Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing Rabbi Lior, stated, “This was an act of terror that miraculously did not end in tragedy. We will follow this case and, on behalf of the victims, demand that the terrorist receive a stiff penalty.”

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