Allegations thrown at settlers for mosque arson

Posted: May 5, 2010 by Jonathan Boyko in Israel, Palestinians, West Bank
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A West Bank mosque In what seems to be further escalation in religious hatred, citizens of West Bank settlements are being suspected of starting a fire in Palestinian village of Libban al-Sharqia. The mosque, heavily damaged by the fire, is currently being investigated, by both Israeli and Palestinian officials:

"Before morning prayers we saw fire in the mosque and it took about half an hour to put out. The mosque has been completely burned," Majed Daraghmeh told Reuters. Daraghmeh said he did not see settlers but blamed them because of earlier incidents in which he said crops and olive trees were vandalized.

"I didn’t see the settlers but I am certain that they did it because of their previous attacks on the village," he added.


The mosque’s imam, Sheikh Abdel Naser, said he cannot accuse anyone at this point, but noted that "our area is surrounded by settlers and we are waiting for the investigation of the Palestinian police here, and also of the PA’s Waqf and ministry of religion. At this stage, the mosque is not fit for prayer."

Head of the mosque’s maintenance committee, Sheikh Majed Daraghmeh, told Ynet that around 3 am residents heard vehicles driving around the area of the mosque, but no one dared to step out because they were certain it was settlers.

"But at 3:45, when the mosque’s imam arrived at the site to prepare for the morning prayers, he saw the mosque on fire. The fire consumed 80%, maybe 90% of the mosque."


SINCE THE BEGGINING of second intifada, both Jews and Palestinian exchanged attacks on religious sites, including local mosques in Palestinian villages, and Jewish religious sites such as Joseph’s tomb.

Still, such behavior cannot be excused for any site. While settlers capable of such attacks are few – in relation to overall West Bank Jewish population of over 250,000 – the attacks are vicious in their nature and the responsible should be harshly prosecuted.

The attacks on Muslims sites, however, did not begin en-masse until hundreds of armed attacks against Jewish settlers in 2000-2004.

  1. […] mosque fire an arson May 7, 2010 Jonathan Boyko Leave a comment Go to comments Following a fire in a mosque of West Bank Palestinian village of al-Libban al-Sharqia, Israeli experts investigating […]

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