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EU condemns mosque arson

June 9, 2011 10:22 P.M. (Updated: June 10, 2011 3:03 P.M.)
BRUSSELS, Belgium (Ma'an) -- EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Thursday condemned the arson attack on a mosque near Ramallah.

On Tuesday, a mosque in Al-Mughayyir was torched and sprayed with anti-Arab graffiti. Witnesses said a group of Israeli settlers arrived in the village before dawn, and shortly after they saw flames rising into the sky.

The vandals spray-painted "Alei Ayin" on the walls, which is the name of a nearby settlement outpost demolished by Israeli police last week, sparking fierce clashes with the settlers.

In a statement issued by her spokesman, Ashton called on authorities to investigate the attack and "bring the perpetrators to justice."

The statement added: "These provocations undermine efforts to promote a comprehensive peace in the region. The EU will continue to focus all its efforts on achieving a peaceful and negotiated resolution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict."

Defacing Palestinian holy sites is a common practice by settlers who also vandalize Palestinian private property and agricultural land.

Although Israeli government officials have criticized the attack, PA officials have noted that Netanyahu has often given his support to members of the religious community who actively incite hatred against Palestinians.

The most recent example came on the celebration of "Jerusalem day," when Netanyahu attended events alongside Rabbis who have advocated the murder of non-Jews.

"While Netanyahu's office has an active department to monitor 'incitement' in the PA, they should invest some efforts in monitoring their own PM's deeds" a spokesman from the PA said.

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