West Bank mosque fire seen as ‘price tag’ attack


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Arson is suspected in a mosque fire in a West Bank town near Ramallah.

Ramallah Mayor Faraj al-Naassaneh blamed Jewish settlers for setting fire to the mosque in the village of Al-Maghir, which sustained major damage. The fire reportedly began at approximately 3 a.m. Wednesday.

Israeli Civil Administration officials are investigating whether the fire had nationalistic motives.

Miri Regev, a Likud member of Knesset, condemned what she deemed a “price tag” attack — the strategy adopted by extremist Jewish settlers and their supporters generally to exact retribution for settlement freezes and demolitions or Palestinian attacks on Jews.

“No to price tag — it is forbidden to take the law into your own hands,” Regev was quoted as saying in The Jerusalem Post.

Several West Bank mosques have been set ablaze in recent years in price tag attacks, including one in the same town two years ago.

Also Wednesday morning, an ancient synagogue in the Arab-Israeli town of Shfaram was set ablaze by a fire bomb.

Meanwhile, Islamic Jihad on Wednesday said it would respond to the mosque attack.

“The terrorism of the settlers and the occupation army will be met with a Palestinian will that doesn’t accept submission and surrender, ” it said in a statement, according to The Jerusalem Post. “Those who encourage and allow attacks on mosques and against Palestinians should expect a response.”


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