Police arrest 10 in raid on West Bank settlement
Five people, including two minors, detained for alleged involvement in mosque arson last month.
More than 100 Israeli security officers raided the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar before dawn on Sunday. Officers arrested 10 settlers in the crackdown, include five allegedly involved in burning down a nearby Palestinian mosque last month.
Two of the five suspects arrested in connection with the arson were minors, eyewitnesses said. It was not immediately clear what led police to arrest the other five settkers.
During the raid, police forcibly entered the settlement's synagogue and seminary buildings, including the prominent Od Yosef Hai yeshiva.
Police earlier this month arrested a teenaged settler for alleged involvement in the arson, which security force believed had been carried out in reaction to the Israeli government's enforcement of a construction freeze in West Bank settlement. The youth was released after a few hours of questioning.
The attack on the mosque in the village of Yasuf took place last December - during which the vandals burned prayer carpets, destroyed holy texts and scrawled graffiti across the walls and floor - drew international condemnation, including from Israel's close ally, the United States.
A delegation from the Gush Etzion settlement bloc, led by peace activist Rabbi Menachem Froman, brought copies of the Koran to the Palestinian village following the attack to express their condemnation.
Israel's Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi, Yona Metzger, also visited the mosque, telling Yasuf residents:
"I came here to express my revulsion at this wretched act of burning a place holy to the Muslim people," Metzger told Yasuf residents. "This is how the Holocaust began, the tragedy of the Jewish people of Europe."
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