Mosque vandalized in suspected 'Price Tag' attack

Arsonists set fire to Ramallah mosque, scrawl graffiti, including "Alei Ayin," on walls; Abbas orders immediate refurbishing of mosque.

By REUTERS
June 7, 2011 12:18
1 minute read.
Border Police inspect damage, Tuesday

Border police Nablus mosque 311 R. (photo credit: Reuters)

 
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Police have launched an investigation into a West Bank mosque arson attack on Tuesday. Palestinians from the village of al-Muayar, near Ramallah reported that a carpet in the mosque was set fire in the early hour of the morning. "A joint police IDF investigation was launched.

"We believe suspects set fire to a tire inside the mosque," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

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The attackers daubed the walls with the words "price tag", Rosenfeld said, a phrase right-wing settlers have adopted to signal retribution for any Israeli moves against settlement-outposts built without government authorization.

However, "no fire damage was observed on the walls," he added. A police forensics team arrived on the scene and began taking evidence.

The words "Alei Ayin," the name of a settlement outpost which was evacuated by security forces last week, were also scrawled on the walls. The evacuation of Alei Ayin sparked a clash resulting in several injuries among right-wing activists and police.

Police suspect the arson incident could be linked to last week's outpost clearance.

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Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday asked the governor of Ramallah Laila Ghannam to order the refurbishing of the vandalized mosque, Ma'an reported.

The report also said the grand mufti of Jerusalem Sheikh Muhammad Hussein condemned the vandalism and arson of the mosque. He was quoted by Ma'an as saying: "The attack on this mosque is part of a systematic policy aiming to flame the conflict and show disrespect to the religious and human values of others."

JPost.com staff contributed to this report.

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