State prosecutors on Tuesday indicted Elhanan Esterovich, 31, for allegedly vandalizing the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, Ammunition Hill and three memorials in the Jordan Valley.
Esterovich, a haredi resident of Jerusalem, is accused of damaging state symbols, defacing memorials, trespassing and intentionally damaging property. Prosecutor Daphna Yifrach asked the court to extend Esterovich's remand until the end of the legal proceedings, claiming he is "dangerous." According to Yifrach, the accused did not express remorse, and even stated that he wished he could do more: "Esterovich told investigators that if he could, he would 'bomb the Knesset, the Supreme Court and IDF bases.'"
Esterovich's first alleged crime took place in May, when he and his friends defaced a monument for fallen soldiers in the Jordan Valley, as well as another memorial. A few days later, Esterovich sprayed anti-Zionist graffiti and burned a flag and a rope at Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem. He planned his vandalism of Yad Vashem for months, according to the prosecution. The prosecutor demanded that Esterovich remain arrested, while his defense attorney suggested that he be placed on house arrest at his mother's home.
In June, Yad Vashem staff found "Hitler, thank you for the wonderful Holocaust" and many other anti-Zionist and offensive slogans spray-painted on the walls of their open air campus. Avner Shalev, director-general of Yad Vashem, said last week "These are extremists. The never-ending stream of reactions we have received testify that the distorted act offended the public's sensitivities. I hope the court will prosecute the perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law."