Burnt Mosque Being Investigated by Israeli Police

Published: May 4th 2010
in News » Israel

A fire damaged a mosque in Palestinian village of Libban Al-Sharqqia
Pic: AFP

A fire damaging a mosque in the Palestinian village of Libban Al-Sharqqia near the central village of Nablus in the West Bank on Tuesday morning is currently under investigation by Israeli Police alongside Palestinian authorities.


Palestinians saw the blaze on Tuesday morning before morning prayers were intended to commence. Due to the incineration of holy books found on the floor of the burnt mosque the fire has been is suspected of being deliberately set by Jewish settlers in the local area. According to Ynet, village settlers have reported seeing unidentified vehicles at 3 a.m. local time around the same time the blaze occurred. The cause of the blaze is still under dispute though Israeli police have reported to AP that evidence of an electrical short circuit has been found and is currently being transferred to a forensics department for further investigation. 


An Israeli military spokesman told CNN that the fire is under investigation and added that the fire could have been due to an electrical short. A statement from Binyamin Regional Council reported “The IDF rushed to blame settlers for setting the mosque ablaze, but from the investigation currently taking place, no signs of arson have been found, certainly not by settlers.”


"I didn't see the settlers but I am certain that they did it because of their previous attacks on the village," Majed Daraghmeh, head of the mosque maintenance committee told Reuters.


The “previous attacks” refer to other incidents of vandalism and destruction of Palestinian property that have been reported within the year. Last month a mosque in the nearby area of Hawara was vandalized with graffiti with the word “price tag” in Hebrew letters with a Star of Davidand two Palestinian vehicles were set on fire. In December, a mosque was torched in the Yasuf village and the words "price tag" sprayed on the wall. Israeli police arrested a teenager from a Jewish settlement in connection with the vandalism in the Yasuf village.


Further fires have occurred in the past week, including three synagogues in Jerusalem which also appear to be deliberately set according to reports.

Related articles: (mosque, palestinian village, fire, nablus)
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