Palestinian Mosque Torched in West Bank

Palestinian Mosque Torched in West BankPalestinian Mosque Torched in West Bank

A Palestinian mosque was set alight in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday and graffiti in Hebrew at the scene suggested the attack was carried out by a far-right Israeli group, officials said.

No one was hurt in the overnight attack in Al-Jabaa village near Bethlehem, during which the mosque’s windows were broken and something burning was thrown inside, village council head Noman Hamdan said.

“God’s mercy and people’s alertness when the fire started prevented it from consuming the entire mosque. Part of the carpets burned,” Reuters cited the official as saying.

Hemdan said suspected Jewish settlers had stormed the village in the early morning, torched the mosque, and sprayed anti-Arab and anti-Muslim graffiti – including “death to Arabs!” – on the mosque’s walls.

He said several other Hebrew slogans had been scrawled on the walls, including “Revenge for the Land of Zion” and “Price Tag”, a phrase used by an ultra-nationalist Jewish group that has carried out scores of attacks on Palestinian targets since 2008.

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas decried the arson attack and described the incident as a “terrorist attack.” In a statement, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri dubbed the attack “a form of Israeli terrorism.”

Abu Zuhri blamed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jewish “settler gangs” for the attack, calling for Arab-Muslim action against Israel’s practice of “targeting” Palestinian houses of worship.