" The group had recently orchestrated a protest at the wedding of an Israeli-Arab couple in Jaffa. "
Jerusalem, Dec 12 - Israeli security agency Shin Bet has said that the three Jewish suspects arrested for setting fire to a Hebrew-Arabic bilingual school in Jerusalem are members of an extremist anti-assimilation group known as Lehava.

According to Shin Bet, the three suspects confessed their actions during questioning Thursday, Haaretz reported.

The suspects -- Yitzhak Gabbai, 22, of Jerusalem, and brothers Nahman Twito, 18, and Shlomo Twito, 20, of Beitar Illit -- said they carried out the attack at the Max Rayne Hand in Hand Jerusalem School because Jews and Arabs learn together at the school and the goal was to put opposition to coexistence and assimilation in the public eye.

The Shin Bet called the act the latest in a series of violent incidents involving activists from Lehava.

Two weeks ago, a fire broke out and racist graffiti was found at the school in Jerusalem.

No injuries were reported, but a classroom was damaged, as were other parts of the school.

The school, home to 1,000 pupils, is the biggest Jewish-Arab institute run by Jewish and Arab educationists since 1998.

Lehava is an extremist organisation that opposes inter-religious marriages between Jewish women and non-Jewish -- particularly Arab men.

It was founded by disciples of Meir Kahana and Kahana's extreme and ultra-nationalist Kach movement banned in Israel.

The group had recently orchestrated a protest at the wedding of an Israeli-Arab couple in Jaffa.

Several human rights groups have urged prosecution of the group for incitement to violence and racism.


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