Mosque set alight in Galilee village

▣ Related: Special Topic Settler Violence | All posts on Settler Violence

More pictures: Radical Jewish terrorists torch Mosque in Tuba – in pictures

Maan News Agency | October 3, 2011

JERUSALEM (AFP) — A mosque in northern Israel was set on fire overnight Sunday in a suspected ‘price tag’ attack, Israeli police said.Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld told AFP that a number of suspects entered the mosque in the Bedouin village of Tuba Zangaria and set fire to it, causing heavy damage to the carpets and walls.

On the outside of the mosque were scrawled the words “price tag” and “revenge” in Hebrew, Rosenfeld said.

Jamal Zangriya, a resident of the village, told Israel Radio: “We believe extremists from outside the village did it,” blaming rabbis from the nearby town of Safed for incitement against Arabs, which he said may have led to the incident.

They also wrote the word “Palmer,” in an apparent reference to Asher Palmer, an Israeli settler who died with his infant son in the southern West Bank on September 23 after his car was hit by stones thrown by Palestinians, causing it to crash.

Hardline Jewish settlers have adopted what they call a “price tag” policy under which they attack Palestinians and their property in response to Israeli government measures against settlements.

Northern District Police Commander Roni Attia set up a special investigation team to deal with the incident, and police heightened security in the area to prevent any “random incidents,” Rosenfeld said.

“This is a very severe price tag incident,” police quoted Attia as saying.

He called on residents of the area to preserve public order and allow the police to investigate the incident without disturbances.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the attack, saying such incidences “do not belong in the state of Israel.”

In June, a mosque in al-Mughayyir, near Ramallah was torched and sprayed with anti-Arab graffiti. Witnesses said a group of Israeli settlers arrived in the village before dawn.

In a similar incident, settlers broke into al-Nurayn mosque in Qusra, south of Nablus in September, smashing windows before setting fire to used tires inside the building, locals told a Ma’an correspondent.

Settler-related incidents resulting in Palestinian injuries and damage to property are up more than 50 percent this year, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, which documents violence in the Palestinian territories.

Almost all “price tag” attacks occur in the occupied West Bank, but last year a similar incident took place in the Palestinian-Israeli village of Iblin, also in the northern Galilee region.

Around twenty percent, or 1.3 million people, of Israel’s population are of Palestinian origin.

They are largely the descendants of Palestinians that managed to remain during the 1948 war, when an estimated 700,000 were expelled from or fled their homes during fighting that would see the establishment of the state of Israel.

Rights groups say that Israelis of Palestinian origin face discrimination in employment, education and public funding within Israel.

Ma’an staff and Reuters contributed to this report


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