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Clashes after settlers torch mosque
Published Friday 11/12/2009 (updated) 13/12/2009 15:31
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[MaanImages - Archive]
Nablus – Ma’an – Six Palestinians fainted after inhaling tear gas fired by the Israeli military during a protest east of Salfit on Friday.

Yasuf village's mayor, Abed Ar-Rahim Musleh, said the injured were hospitalized in Salfit. He described their injuries as light.

Residents took to the streets in the northern West Bank village after Israeli settlers set fire to a mosque the same day. Soldiers opened fire when the crowd arrived near the illegal Tapouh settlement, which was built on Yasuf village lands.

Musleh told Ma’an that settlers broke the main gate of the Al-Kabir Mosque at 4am and set fire to the building’s second floor. He said the fire destroyed copies of the Quran and carpets which were inside.

Settlers also wrote graffiti in Hebrew on the mosque’s floor reading, “We will have our revenge” and “We will burn you all,” the official added.

Residents scrambled to put out the fire in the modern mosque at the center of the village, which is home to 2,000 Palestinians. Palestinian Authority security forces also arrived and began an investigation.

President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the arson as "a disgraceful and barbarian crime."

"This attack is a violation of religious freedom and to holy sites," he added, speaking at a meeting with Israeli MK Ahmad At-Tibi in Amman. Abbas urged Israel "to put an end to the settlers' lawlessness."

The head of the Israeli Civil Administration in the West Bank, Yoav Mordechai, condemned the attack.

Mordechai told Ma'an that the attackers would be tracked down and prosecuted, adding that he had met with Salfit Governor Munir Al-Aboushi and leaders of the security services to discuss the incident.

The Israeli military also issued a statement saying it “condemns the vandalism of the Palestinian mosque.” It added that the Civil Administration received a complaint about the attack, and said Israeli forces were searching for the perpetrators.

Tensions have been high in the West Bank since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared a partial slowdown on expansion of settlements two weeks ago. Angry settlers have vowed to resist the 10-month construction ban and also punish the Palestinian population in what they call a “price tag” campaign.

Netanyahu's construction ban applies only to certain settlements outside Israel’s expanded municipal boundaries of Jerusalem, and only to new buildings, not those already underway when the policy was announced.

The moratorium has galvanized the settler movement. On Wednesday night tens of thousands of settlers demonstrated in Paris Square West Jerusalem urging the expansion of settlements and denouncing Netanyahu.

Netanyahu came under pressure from the US government to freeze all settlement construction in the entire West Bank as a step toward renewing peace negotiations. The PA, however, dismissed the slowdown as insufficient.
1 ) Kaput Falasteen / Israel
11/12/2009 16:10
That is only a penny from arab account for murders, bombings & destroying Jewish Holy Places. No idol worship in Israel: arabs go home to Arabia or be put 6' under.

2 ) hudhud / USA
11/12/2009 19:00
mr. kaput. you claimed you are from israel. how do you know about pennies and inches unless you are an american jew? that's because israel follows the european system in its measurements and pennies and inches are american measures. second, you are full of hatred and jealousy of the palestinians because they are the real owners of the land and you, israelis, came to this land from all over the world to destroy the holy land with your poisonous souls. GO BACK TO EUROPE or wherever you came from!

3 ) JZ / USA
11/12/2009 19:01
Is the above comment appropriate Ma'an?

4 ) Chauncey / Canada
11/12/2009 19:17
#1 Go back to Poland Nazi settler. But then again, no one wants you, all of Europe is sick of you, now even the American degenerates are waking up to your Evil, when they're finally fed up with you, good luck. The world has seen your cruel face, and we understand the truth behind your so called persecution...you deserved it.

11/12/2009 20:38
-@1 completely agree with you ! today the Palestinian arabs are seeking to take over Judea, and what is next? Eurabia? Amerabia ? Afrabia ? Austrabia ? stop immoral occupation of Judea and go home to Arabia

6 ) Eva / Germany
11/12/2009 22:01
Bob, you might want to go over your facts - it's actually Israelis taking over the property of the Palestinians, not the other way round. So called Israeli settlements were/are established in the Israeli-occupied territories, land that was captured from Egypt, Jordan, and Syria by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War. And for your further information - a country called "Arabia" does not exist other than in your ignorant imagination, sorry.

7 ) Christopher / USA
12/12/2009 01:57
Wow. Is anyone else shocked at the... um... unstable responses by both of the posters claiming to be Canadian? Anyway, it's time for us to call these heinous acts as exactly what they are -- POGROMS. And this time it's Jewish people as the instigators instead of the victims. It's shameful.

8 ) Freedom / USA
12/12/2009 03:45
To #1 & 5, either you are stupid or ignorant Zionist idiots. The original Jews and Arabs that lived in Palestine were in peace with each other. When the European Jews started to invade the Peaceful country, all hell broke loose. Now you are one of those bastards go back to Europe where you belong and leave the Palestine in peace.

9 ) Robert / new zealand
09/05/2010 08:56
Israelis are Nazi scum bags. They moan on about the Holocaust but carry out exact same hatred polices against Palestinians.
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