Palestinian mosque near Ramallah torched in latest 'price tag' attack

Palestinian mosque near Ramallah torched in latest 'price tag' attack
The Al-Bireh mosque was daubed in anti-Palestinian graffiti and set on fire overnight in a suspected 'price tag' attack by extremist Israeli settlers.
2 min read
27 July, 2020
Palestinian officials have declared Israel "responsible" for the arson attack [Getty]

A Palestinian mosque near the West Bank city of Ramallah was set on fire overnight in an apparent extremist attack, local media reported.

The mosque in Al-Bireh was also daubed with graffiti declaring "this land is for the Jews" and "siege to the Arabs", according to Palestinian news agency Wafa.

On Monday, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh slammed the blaze as a "racist attack" by suspected Israeli settlers.

"We hold the occupation authority [Israel] fully responsible for it and for the unruly acts and growing violence of the settlers," Shtayyeh said.

Israeli Economic Minister Amir Peretz called for the "hatemongers" behind the attack to be "brought to justice".

Arson and vandalism on Palestinian properties by extremist Israeli settlers are commonly referred to as "price tag" attacks, a euphemism for fundamentalist hate crimes, but arrests of suspects are rare.

Although top Israeli officials and even settler leaders have disavowed such attacks, calling them "immoral", the Palestinian Authority considers Israel - which occupies the West Bank and handles security - ultimately responsible for the rampant hate crimes.

Israel has also green lighted the continued expansion and spread of settler communities in the occupies West Bank, which are considered illegal under international law.

Israeli NGO B'tselem said last year that so-called "price tag" attacks were a "reflection of Israel's policy in the West Bank, which leaves Palestinian homes, fields, vehicles and belongings unprotected and constantly vulnerable to attacks by settlers".

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