West Bank Mosque Set Alight in Suspected 'Price Tag' Attack

Mayor of Burkina village says flaming tires thrown into mosque's entrance, with assailants scrawling the words 'Hero of Ariel' on its walls.

Chaim Levinson
Chaim Levinson
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Chaim Levinson
Chaim Levinson

Arsonists attempted to set fire to a Palestinian mosque, Israeli police and residents of a West Bank village near the settlement of Ariel said on Wednesday.

Residents of the Palestinian village of Burkina discovered that two vehicles were torched overnight, and that there had been attempt to burn the local mosque as well, succeeding only in burning its entrance.

Mosque entrance that was set alight in the West Bank village of Burkina, Dec., 7. 2011. Credit: B'tselem

The mosque itself was sprayed with graffiti denouncing the head of the Shin Bet's Jewish division, responsible for tracking extremist activity.

Mayor of Burkina village Accra Samara says a flaming tire was thrown into the entrance of the mosque.

Israeli police spokeswoman Cuba Samurai says they are investigating the incident.

An Arab man inspecting the damage caused to a mosque in the West Bank village of Maghayer earlier this year.Credit: David Bachar

Hard-line Jewish youths are suspected to be behind a series of attacks against Palestinians and their property, including several mosques.

Two months ago, the mosque in the Bedouin village of Tuba-Zangariyya was set on fire in a suspected "price tag" attack by settlers angry at Israeli policy.

The entire interior of the mosque went up in flames, causing heavy damage, and holy books inside the mosque were burned. Graffiti with the words price tag was found on the wall of the mosque.

In an earlier incident, a mosque in the West Bank village of Qusra, south of Nablus, was set on fire in June, hours after Israeli police officers destroyed three illegal structures in the settlement outpost of Migron.

According to Palestinian sources, a group of settlers arrived at the village mosque at approximately 3 A.M., threw burning tires toward it, and broke several of its windows.

The Palestinian Authority condemned the attack, stating that it is not the first of its kind to be carried out by settlers against mosques in the West Bank, and called on the Middle East Quartet to get involved.

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