There has been condemnation from the UN, the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority following an attack on a mosque in the West Bank.
Villagers in al-Mughayyir awoke for dawn prayers to find smoke billowing from the building, and they discovered burning tractor tyres inside and graffiti daubed on the walls.
“We came to the mosque for the dawn prayer and we found black smoke pouring out, and burnt copies of the Koran,” said the Imam, Darwish al-Hajj.
It is at least the fifth attack on a West Bank mosque in the last 18 months. It is being blamed on Jewish settlers, as the graffiti read “Price tag – Eley Ain”. The Israeli authorities removed a structure from the nearby settler outpost of Eley Ain last week.
An investigation is underway but despite Israeli questioning of suspects for similar incidents in the past, no arrests have been made. The Palestinian Authority’s Mosques department accuses Israel of failing to mount serious inquiries into such attacks.