Israeli Arabs Clash With Police After Apparent 'Price Tag' Attack on Mosque

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Some 300 Israeli Arabs clashed with local security forces in the Upper Galilee on Monday after a mosque in their village was set on fire the night before in a suspected "price tag" attack by right-wing extremists angry over Israel's policy on West Bank settlements.

According to Israel Police, residents of the Bedouin Arab village of Tuba-Zangariyya began marching to the nearby town of Rosh Pina, while hurling rocks at security forces and burning tires.

Clashes between Israeli Arabs, security forces in upper Galilee, October 3, 2011.Credit: Yaron Kaminsky

Police forces responded to the clashes by firing tear gas and stun grenades at the protesters.

The mosque was set on fire Sunday night, and its entire interior went up in flames, causing heavy damage, including to holy books inside.

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Arab-Israelis look at aftermath of attack on a Galilee mosque, Oct. 3, 2011.Credit: Panet
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Arab youth demonstrate after an attack on a Galilee mosque, Oct. 3, 2011.Credit: Panet
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Clashes erupt between security forces and Arab-Israelis in the Galilee over mosque arson, Oct. 3, 2011.Credit: Yaron Kaminsky

Graffiti with the words price tag was found on the wall of the mosque. Israel Police said they have arrested several suspects involved in the mosque arson, but did not disclose any details.

Northern District Police Commander Major-General Roni Atia who was on the scene described the incident as very serious in the context of price tag attacks. Atia has set up a special team to investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Residents of the village described the attack as very serious.

It is obvious that Jewish extremists did this, despite the internal divisions we have, no one here would dare harm the mosque," one of the residents said.