Anti-Israel group's Monsey synagogue burns down

Posted: Updated:

Investigators ruled out arson Monday as the cause of a fire that gutted a Monsey synagogue.

The synagogue belonged to Neturei Karta, a group that denounces the state of Israel. Firefighters said flames quickly engulfed the structure Sunday and took them about five hours to extinguish. The century-old building was destroyed, but the Torah was saved. While investigators initially called the fire suspicious, they now say they did not find any accelerants. The cause remains under investigation.

A senior rabbi and his family who lived on the top floor of the three-story structure were not at home.

Neturei Karta leaders believe the fire was intentionally set on the eve of Passover because of their anti-Israel views. Members attended an Iran conference questioning the existence of the Holocaust. They also feel the Jewish state should not exist until the Messiah leads Jews to the promised land.

Some community members say the group got what it deserved, while others sympathize with the loss of the synagogue.

For footage of and interviews about the synagogue fire, go to channel 612 on your digital iO Extra box and select iO Extra.

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