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.

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

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

Police and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency)had raided the livingquarters of the two yeshivot, arresting three 20-year-old men anddetaining two minors overnight Sunday. Four other minors werearrested 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 menand a minor were transferred on Monday afternoon to the Petah TikvaMagistrate's Court to extend their remand.

A search of the personal items of those arrested revealed styletsand color flares. According to Yitzhar residents, the police and ShinBet 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 thecivil administration launched an investigation. The vandals fled thescene.

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

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

They also sprayed abusive statements in Hebrew on the walls andfloor. Graffiti messages included "Price tag - greetings fromEffi" 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 curbsettlement activity.

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

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