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Settlers vandalize mosque, burn cars in Huwwara

April 14, 2010 9:21 A.M. (Updated: April 16, 2010 10:06 A.M.)
Nablus – Ma'an – Israeli citizens living in an illegal West Bank settlement vandalized a mosque in Huwwara, after storming the Nablus village early Wednesday morning.

Settlers from the nearby Yitzhar settlement ascended upon the village at 2am and sprayed graffiti, including a Star of David and racist slogans across the the Bilal Ben Rab Mosque in the Qoza area of the village, said Ghassan Doughlas, Palestinian Authority official in charge of the settlement portfolio in the northern West Bank.

Two cars were further set on fire in the village, belonging to Ziad Abdullah Theeb and Sameer Ibrhaim Zahar respectively. The official added that settlers crashed into another vehicle belonging to Zaher's brother.

According to Israeli media, more than 300 olive trees were uprooted and the racist graffiti was sprayed across the village.

In response to the incident, Itamar Ben-Gvir, a spokesman for the right-wing Jewish National Front party, said: "We are talking about a hostile village that has been the source of a large number of violent attacks against the residents of Yitzhar," the Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

"The time has come for the Arabs to understand that Jews are not suckers and that Jewish blood will not be shed without consequence," Ben-Gvir said, according to the daily.

A statement issued by the Israeli army confirmed the incident and said "the Commander of the IDF Judea and Samaria division [the West Bank], Brig. Gen. Nitzan Alon ordered an immediate investigation into the incident, condemned the acts and said that those responsible should be brought to justice."

The Israeli army added that it "conveyed a message to the Palestinians through the Civil Administration," reassuring them that it "takes the matter of harming holy sites very seriously." The Civil Administration erased the graffiti following the incident, the statement said.

In December 2009, Israeli settlers set fire to a mosque in the West Bank village of Yasuf.

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