Jewish Settlers Suspected of Mosque Arson

Jewish settlers are suspected of setting fire to a mosque’s entrance in the occupied West Bank, after last week’s beating and detention of Israeli settlers by Palestinians.

The perpetrators wrote “Arabs out” and “Revenge for blood spilled in Qusra” in Hebrew on the walls of the mosque in Deir Istiya village on Wednesday, which lies next to the illegal Ariel settlement in the northern West Bank, an AFP correspondent said.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said in a statement that the attack was “nationalistically” motivated.

Palestinians beat and detained about a dozen settlers last week in the village of Qusra, near the northern city of Nablus, and released them after negotiating with Israeli soldiers.

Seven of the settlers were arrested on suspicion of provoking the violence when they entered Qusra from Esh Kodesh, an illegal settlement outpost nearby.

The January 7 incident in Qusra has already led to other revenge attacks: two cars near Nablus were set alight and trees were felled in an Arab-Israeli town east of Tel Aviv.

Palestinian property is often targeted by Jewish settlers who carry out so-called “price tag” attacks, usually for state moves against unauthorized settlement activity in the West Bank.

Attackers have also targeted Muslim and Christian sites, as well as Arab property in Israel.

(Al Jazeera and Agencies – www.aljazeera.com)

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