Mosque in Israel torched in arson attack

Palestinian-Israelis protest in village of Tuba Zangaria after apparent vengeance attack by settlers.

    Israeli police have blamed illegal West Bank settler groups for an arson attack on a mosque in the north of the country.

    The mosque, located in the village of Tuba Zangaria in the Galilee region, sustained heavy damage in the overnight attack, in which the arsonists scrawled the words "price tag" and "revenge" on the walls.

    Police described the attack as "a very severe price tag incident" - a term which usually refers to acts of vengeance against Palestinians and their property by West Bank settlers.

    Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, condemned the attack.

    "This is an act which is against the values of the state of Israel, which places supreme importance on freedom of religion and freedom of worship," said Netanyahu.

    Al Jazeera's Cal Perry, reporting from Jerusalem, said police had taken a group into custody in connection with the attack.

    "Because of what happened at the UN, there has been an increase in violence between settlers and Palestinian-Israelis, and this attack was an example of what could happen," our correspondent said.

    The attackers also graffitied the word "Palmer" on the walls of the mosque in an apparent reference to Asher Palmer, an Israeli settler who died with his infant son in the West Bank on September 23 after crashing his car as it was targeted by stone-throwers.

    The attack on the mosque sparked anger in the village of Tuba Zangaria, as a few hundred residents protested, burnt tyres and blocked a road in the area, the police said.

    Protesters threw stones at police, who used tear gas to disperse the crowds, Micky Rosenfeld, a police spokesman, told the AFP news agency. He said police representatives were talking to village leaders "in an effort to calm things town."

    Most "price tag" actions are carried out in the illegally occupied West Bank, and attacks on mosques inside Israel are less common.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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