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Palestine: West Bank mosque torched in racist ‘price tag’ attack

28th Jul 2020
Palestine: West Bank mosque torched in racist ‘price tag’ attack

By Qais Abu Samra

RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA): A mosque was vandalized and burnt Monday in a suspected “price tag” attack in the occupied West Bank, according to Palestinian residents.

Attackers spray-painted anti-Arab slogans and racist graffiti on the walls of a mosque in al-Bireh city in the central West Bank, the residents said.

The graffiti, scrawled in Hebrew across the walls of the al-Bir Wal Ihsan Mosque, “siege to the Arabs,” and “this land is for the Jews.”

The mayor of al-Bireh, Azzam Ismail, said that that illegal Israeli colonists entered the city overnight, filled the walls of the mosque with racist graffiti, and set it on fire, partially destroying it.

“The Israeli government is responsible for such criminal and racist acts,” Hussam Abu El-Rub, an official with the Awqaf and Religious Affairs Ministry, said in a statement.

He accused the Israeli authorities of supporting “these terrorist groups that do such acts”, going on to call on the international community to intervene to “stop these groups from attacking Muslim holy sites”.

[A view of the Al-Bir Wal-Ihsan Mosque damaged by Jewish settlers – with racist slogans and arson in Al-Bireh district of Ramallah, West Bank on July 27, 2020. ( İssam Rimawi – Anadolu Agency)]

 

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry also condemned the arson attack in a statement, “The Ministry, while taking the settlers’ attacks against places of worship very seriously, holds the Israeli government and its prime minister fully and directly responsible for this attack.”

Secretary-General of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Saeb Erekat, called the attack “racism and apartheid.”

“Price tag” vandalism is a strategy used by extremist Jewish settlers to attack Palestinians and their property in retaliation for perceived threats to Israeli settlement expansion.

According to Palestinian figures, more than 700,000 Jewish settlers now live on 196 settlements which were built with the Israeli government’s approval and more than 200 settler outposts — built without the government approval — across the occupied West Bank.

International law views the West Bank and East Jerusalem as “occupied territories” and considers all Jewish settlement-building activities on the land to be illegal.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

Additional report by imemc.org

[Photo: A man inspects the Al-Bir Wal-Ihsan Mosque damaged by Jewish settlers – wall with racist slogans  and arson seen in Al-Bireh district of Ramallah, West Bank on July 27, 2020. Photographer: İssam Rimawi/AA]

 

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