Jerusalem mosque torched as rightists clash with police


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli right-wing activists clashed with police in Jerusalem after arsonists torched a mosque in the capital city.

The Nebi Akasha mosque, built in the 12th century and idle for several years, was set alight Wednesday morning and the words "price tag," as well as “Mohammed is dead” and “A good Arab is a dead Arab,” were spray-painted on and around the site.

The torching follows a series of so-called price tag attacks in the West Bank in reaction to the possible evacuation of illegal outposts.

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

When police in Jerusalem attempted to arrest suspects Wednesday in connection with recent price tag attacks, activists clashed with officers and started rioting, including slashing tires and breaking the windows of several police cars, Haaretz reported.

Also Wednesday, Israeli Justice Minister Yaakov Ne’eman convened a meeting with Justice Ministry officials, police representatives and Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitz at the request of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss recent acts of violence by extremist settlers.

The group recommended to Netanyahu that acts of violence by right-wing activists be called terror acts and the perpetrators terrorists.

On Tuesday night, two trucks and a car were set ablaze in a Palestinian village near Nablus and a Jewish woman was arrested in connection with rocks thrown at Palestinian cars in the northern West Bank.

The incidents reportedly were triggered by the movement of an Israeli army convoy, sparking concern that it was on the way to dismantle the Mitzpe Yitzhar outpost, which is scheduled to be razed by the end of the calendar year, according to Haaretz.

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