On October 12, 2010, an arsonist set two fires at Tel Aviv-Yafo's historic Al Hambra Theater, which had been bought by the Church of Scientology in 2007 and largely renovated for future use. Nine workers escaped unharmed from the building. Scientologists complained about incitement by The Israeli Center for Victims of Cults, which had previously suggested the building be burned and whose predominantly religiously based objection filed with the municipality was forestalling the Scientologists from acquiring the final permit needed from the city to fully renovate the building for use.
The acts in question were due, it seems, to criminal behavior by the lawyer for the Church.
A Tel Aviv lawyer is the prime suspect in at least two attempted murders and an arson that were allegedly carried out by a Jaffa gang he controlled. Gur Finkelstein was arrested several weeks ago, but details of the investigation were released for publication only yesterday...
Finkelstein is also alleged to have commissioned a hit against Tel Aviv building inspector Shoter Hovel, after the latter had stopped work on construction for the Scientology sect that Finkelstein represented.
Finkelstein also allegedly ordered the torching of the same Scientology building in an effort to generate new construction work, from which he was getting commissions from the building subcontractors he employed.