Defense Minister Ehud Barak condemned the arson attack at a mosque in
the northern town of Tuba Zangria Monday, saying that it hurts Israel's
reputation in the world.RELATED:Tuba residents march, clash with police after mosque arsonPalestinians report further 'price tag' attack in W. Bank
The suspected "price tag" attack, Barak said, is a "criminal act that harms the State of Israel."
criminals who carried out the act are interested in destabilizing
relations between Jews and Arabs and are causing great harm to the name
of Israel in the world," the defense minister continued. "I am convinced
that these responsible for the criminal and revolting act will be
caught quickly and brought to justice."
Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu spoke with Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) chief Yoram Cohen
Monday morning and directed him to quickly find those responsible for
setting the mosque alight.
The prime minister was "boiling with
anger" when he saw the pictures and said the act "contravenes the values
of the State of Israel, in which freedom of religion and freedom of
worship are supreme values," the Prime Minister's Office said in a
The "shocking pictures," Netanyahu said, "have no place in the State of Israel."
Both President Shimon Peres and Education Minister Gideon Saar on Monday condemned the attack, while speaking at the President's Residence at the official inauguration of a program geared towards training high school students towards scientific excellence.
Expressing his deep outrage at the incident, Peres declared that it was not a Jewish thing to do, nor was it legal or moral. "It brings great shame upon us," he said. "It is a terrible thing which I condemn in the strongest possible terms. It is a difficult day for the residents of Tuba-Zangria and a difficult day for Israeli society as a whole.
"As the President of Israel I call during these soul searching days of penitence between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, for the rooting out of such deeds from our midst". Such acts of terrorism, he said, poison the relationship between Israel and her neighbors and between Israeli citizens of different faiths."
Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch also responded with
outrage to the incident on Monday, calling it a "criminal and despicable
attack on a holy place."
"I've spoken with Police Insp.-Gen. [Yohanan Danino] about the incident
and received updates about police responses to the incident and the
police's determination to bring the perpetrators to justice," he added.
Monday morning, opposition leader Tzipi Livni said that if the burning
of a mosque was indeed a "Price Tag" attack then "it should be
"Burning of mosques goes against the values of Israel as a Jewish state," Livni said.