Jewish Extremist Sentenced for Arson Attack on Church
A Jewish extremist has been sentenced to four years in prison for a 2015 arson attack that damaged a church in northern Israel where Christians believe Jesus performed the miracle of the loaves and fishes.
The Israeli district court in the Galilee city of Nazareth had earlier found Yinon Reuveni, 23, guilty of “aggravated arson” and two counts of criminal conspiracy for the June 2015 attack carried out on the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fish at Tabgha, according to The Times of Israel.
He was this week sentenced to four years in prison and hit with a fine of 50,000 shekels ($14,000).
Speaking with The Times of Israel following the ruling, Reuveni’s attorney, Itamar Ben Gvir, said his client intended to appeal.
The 4th century church marks the spot where Jesus performed the miracle of feeding the five thousand, as recorded in the New Testament book of Mark.
The arson attack reportedly caused damages of around $1.5 million, of which the State of Israel contributed almost $400,000. In addition to torching the building, Reuveni reportedly scrawled “Idols will be cast out or destroyed” in Hebrew on the walls.