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Mosque fire in northern Israel blamed on extremists

Mosque fire in northern Israel blamed on extremists
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A mosque in a Bedouin village in northern Israel has been set on fire in an attack which has been blamed on Jewish extremists.

Graffiti sprayed on the walls spelt out the words ‘Palmer’ and ‘revenge’. It is believed to refer to Ashar Palmer a Jewish settler who died, say police, in a car crash caused by Palestinians who threw stones at his car.

Two mosques were vandalised in the area last month following partial demolitions by the Israeli army in a Jewish settlement.

The office of the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement condemning the burning of the mosque.

It said the prime minister was, ‘outraged’ when he saw the pictures. Israel leaders are set to meet US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta who arrives in the region today. Ahead of his visit Panetta has said Israel is becoming increasingly isolated in the Middle East.

Israel has accepted calls from the Quartet to resume peace talks. Palestine has rejected the latest moves until settlement building stops on lands in the west bank.