Settlers blamed for West Bank mosque arson

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Palestinian security sources have blamed Jewish settlers for torching a mosque in a West Bank village.

Burning tires were rolled into the mosque in the Maghayer village near Ramallah, setting rugs in the building on fire, according to reports. The building sustained fire damage; no deaths or injuries were reported.

The mosque’s walls also were sprayed with graffiti that reportedly read "Alei Ayin" — the name of a nearby settlement outpost that was demolished last week by Israeli police. Other slogans spray-painted on the wall reportedly read "Price Tag" and "This is only the beginning."

"Price tag" refers to the strategy extremist settlers have adopted to exact a price in attacks on Palestinians in retribution for settlement freezes or their attacks on Jews.

Several West Bank mosques have been torched in the last year; most of the incidents were blamed on Jewish settlers.

A joint Israeli police-military investigation has been launched into the incident.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas ordered that PA funds be made available immediately to repair the mosque.
 

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