Police probe W. Bank mosque 'arson'

Incident may be related to recent settler 'price tag' activity.

May 4, 2010 08:30
1 minute read.
Police probe W. Bank mosque 'arson'

gaza damaged mosque 248 88 ap. (photo credit: AP)


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Security forces on Monday morning were investigating whether a group of settlers were responsible for a fire that broke out in a West Bank mosque.

Police suggested that Monday night's incident in the Leban A-Sharkiya village, near Ramallah, may have been related to recent 'price tag' attacks. However, police said they were also exploring the possibility that an electrical fault caused the blaze.

'Price tag' attacks - generally referring to violence against Palestinians in retaliation for attacks on settlers, and security forces' attempts to curb settlement activity - have escalated in the recent months as the government debates a possible extension of the West Bank construction freeze.

Pinchas Wallerstein, former Yesha chairman, said in reaction to the 'price tag' phenomenon that "there is a group of people, not a large group, that instead of a proper and moral negotiation process, believe they can frighten and intimidate everyone in order to have their way."

"These people are the minority, just like radicals on the Left, maybe even less," Wallerstein said in an interview with Army Radio.

Wallerstein added that " I know the area, and the people, and according to what I know, there is no basis for suspicion. Even so, the conclusion in this situation is unequivocal: there are innocent people here, and they mustn't be harmed."

Other recent 'price tag' incidents included two Palestinian vehicles being set on fire near Kedumim and spray-painted with the words “price tag.."  In another incident, a mosque in the Palestinian town of Hawara, south of Nablus, was defiled by masked men who spray-painted a Star of David and the word Muhammad, in Hebrew, on the wall.

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