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Montreal teen who burned Israeli flag banned from social media after alleged probation violation

A Montreal teenager who was sentenced on an arson charge for burning an Israeli flag has been ordered to stay off social media after allegedly breaching one of his probation conditions.

The 16-year-old boy was back in court Thursday to face an allegation that he violated section 137 of the Youth Criminal Justice Act following his sentence of 12 months' probation earlier this month.

He pled guilty to one count of arson after posting a video on social media showing him ripping the flag down outside a Jewish elementary school and setting it on fire. The flag was installed on the fences of the Hebrew Foundation School in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, as the community marked Israel’s Independence Day.

The boy, who cannot be identified because he is a minor, pleaded not guilty to violating one of the conditions of his probation. Among his several conditions was a ban on making references on social media to the state of Israel.

A judge ruled he cannot access or use, directly or indirectly, social media while out on bail on the violation charge, according to the Quebec Crown prosecutor office.

He is expected back in court on June 7.

On Thursday, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) said in a statement that it was concerned about the alleged probation violation.

"It is worth noting that CIJA raised concerns earlier this week that the conditions of probation did not sufficiently consider either the antisemitism inherent in his actions or the subsequent impact his crime had on Quebec’s Jewish community. We rightly feared that the sentence would neither educate the individual about the harm of his actions nor lead him to changing his conduct," said CIJA's vice-president, Eta Yudin.

When he was sentenced, the youth was also ordered to participate in a program determined by a youth worker for a maximum of 17 hours, to not be within 200 metres of the school, to make a $250 donation to Just Peace Advocates, and to write a letter of apology to the school. Top Stories

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