Police raid Yitzhar yeshiva, arrest 7 suspects

Court on Monday extends by one week remand of the students for alleged involvement in vandalism and arson of the Kafr Yasuf mosque in December.

January 18, 2010 20:44
1 minute read.
yasuf mosque book 248.88

yasuf mosque book 248.88. (photo credit: B'Tselem)

The Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court on Monday extended by one week the remand of the four students from two Yitzhar yeshivot who were arrested Sunday on for their alleged involvement in vandalism and arson in the Kafr Yasuf mosque last month.

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Police and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency)had raided the living quarters of the two yeshivot, arresting three 20-year-old men and detaining two minors overnight Sunday. Four other minors were arrested for various recent acts of disruption in the Samaria region. An additional person wanted for questioning was also detained.

One of the minors was released after questioning, but three men and a minor were transferred on Monday afternoon to the Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court to extend their remand.

A search of the personal items of those arrested revealed stylets and color flares. According to Yitzhar residents, the police and Shin Bet donned masks, used excessive force and confiscated residents' cameras that were used to document the events.

In mid December, assailants vandalized the Yasuf mosque, and the civil administration launched an investigation. The vandals fled the scene.

The attack took place in the village of Yasuf, south of Nablus. The assailants entered the village before dawn Friday, according to police and Munir Abushi, the Palestinian governor of the district of Salfit, where the village is located.

The perpetrators set fire to a carpet and to a library in the mosque's second floor, destroying holy books.

They also sprayed abusive statements in Hebrew on the walls and floor. Graffiti messages included "Price tag - greetings from Effi" and "We will burn the lot of you."

Some linked the attack to the so-called "price tag policy," often used to denote retaliation for government decisions which curb settlement activity.

The IDF said it views the incident "gravely" and is investigating along with the police.

After villagers discovered the damage, they briefly threw stones at IDF troops that entered Yasuf, Abushi said. He said two villagers were hurt in the skirmish.

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