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Unidentified assailants target mosques in hometown of slain Israeli officer

July 17, 2017 4:53 P.M. (Updated: July 18, 2017 9:57 A.M.)
A mosque in Ramallah, in the central occupied West Bank. (MaanImages/ Anna Kokko, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Unidentified assailants targeted two mosques on Monday in the hometown of an Israeli police officer who was killed last week in occupied East Jerusalem, marking the second incident of its kind targeting mosques in the village since the deadly shooting attack.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that a stun grenade was hurled inside a mosque in the village of Maghar in northern Israel in the middle of the night, causing no injuries.

Later in the the night, at around 3:30 a.m., gunshots were fired at another mosque in the eastern part of Maghar, breaking a window but causing no injuries.

Al-Samri added that Israeli police were investigating the attacks, and that security forces were deployed in the area to “protect public property and prevent negative developments.”

Unknown assailants had thrown another stun grenade into an Maghar mosque on Saturday, a day after three Palestinian citizens of Israel from Umm al-Fahm were shot dead while carrying out a shooting attack in East Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in which two Israeli border police officers were killed.

The three slain Palestinian assailants -- Muhammad Ahmad Muhammad Jabarin, 29; Muhammad Hamid Abd al-Latif Jabarin, 19; and Muhammad Ahmad Mufdal Jabarin, 19 -- all lived within two blocks of each other in Umm al-Fahm in northern Israel.

The officers -- Hail Stawi, 30, and Kamil Shakib Shinan, 22 -- were both Druze citizens of Israel from the villages of Maghar and Horfish respectively.

While residents of Maghar told Israeli news outlet Ynet on Saturday that Muslim and Druze coexisted peacefully in the Palestinian-majority village, some appeared concerned that the deadly Al-Aqsa shooting could spark tensions.

Unlike Muslim and Christian Palestinian citizens of Israel, Druze and Circassians with Israeli citizenship are subject to mandatory military service in the Israeli forces, one of a number of distinctions made by the Israeli government between indigenous residents of Israel that have been denounced as "divide and conquer" tactics.
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