Police up security at mosques after 'price tag' hit

Aharonovitch visits northern town, meets police commander; Tuba residents clash with police following mosque attack.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
October 3, 2011 13:24
2 minute read.
Price tag vandalism (illustrative)

price tag 311. (photo credit: Tovah Lazaroff)

 
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Police stepped up security around mosques and Islamic symbols around the country to prevent further "price tag" incidents and disturbances, following the vandalizing and arson of a mosque in the Galilee village of Tuba Zangria.

Police Insp.-Gen. Yochanan Danino ordered all police districts, as well as the police's Operations Branch, to go on alert in areas with Muslim communities.

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The Police's head of Operations, Cmdr. Nissim Mor, ordered his officers to pool intelligence and map out areas where future 'price tag' incidents could occur and to increase police patrols in areas with Muslim communities.

The mosque was set alight overnight Sunday in an apparent "price tag" attack, prompting residents to attempt a march on nearby Rosh Pina that deteriorated into stone throwing and clashes with security forces.

Residents of the village said that the words "Price Tag" and "Revenge" were sprayed in the area of the mosque. The attack comes amid a recent wave of similar attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

Public Security Minster Yitzhak Ahronovitch and the northern police district head Cmdr. Roni Atiya visited the vandalized mosque in Tuba.



Aharnovitch was briefed about the incident and the investigation. The two were scheduled to meet village leaders.

Dialogue between police representatives and notables from the Muslim community were continuing, police said.

A group of some 300 people marched out of Tuba in the direction of Rosh Pina with the intention of blocking major traffic arteries. During the procession, marchers began throwing stones toward police forces and set tires on fire.

Police forces prevented them from reaching the main junction using crowd dispersal means.

Police arrested a number of people suspected of setting fire to and vandalizing the mosque, Israel Radio reported. The suspects were found in possession of flamable materials, according to the report.

Police were unable to confirm the reports of the arrests.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that "in the early hours of the morning a number of suspects entered the mosque in the village of Tuba and caused severe damage to the mosque's carpet and inner walls. An intensive police investigation has been launched to track down those behind the incident."

Police opened an investigation into the incident and Cmdr. Attia was joined by police forces at the scene.

Last month, police announced the formation of a special task force to track down and arrest far-right extremists who were behind price tag incidents in the West Bank.

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