Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A group of Israeli extremists set fire to a mosque in the Palestinian village of Jab'awas, near Bethlehem, West Bank, overnight even leaving insulting and blasphemous graffiti scrawled on the walls of the building (pictured).
Israeli settlers are suspected of being behind the attack, the latest to target a Muslim place of worship - Christian churches and cemeteries have also been vandalized in the past - according to the logic of the "price tag".
The "price to pay" is a motto used by Israeli extremists, who threaten Christians and Muslims for having "taken away their land." Once the phenomenon was concentrated only in areas on the border with the West Bank and Jerusalem, but now has spread to most of the territory.
Jibreen al-Bakri, governor of the Bethlehem region, says the mosque in the village of Jabaa near Bethlehem was set alight at dawn Wednesday, damaging the mosque's walls and carpeted floor. Israeli TV showed footage of Hebrew graffiti on the walls that read "we want the redemption of Zion" and "revenge" alongside a Jewish Star of David.
Israeli police have opened an investigation but, as has happened several times in the past in cases of attacks on Christian places of worship, it seems unlikely that those responsible will be brought to justice. The unknown assailants also damaged some cars parked near the mosque.
Micky Rosenfeld, Israeli police spokesman, said that "the crimes committed on grounds of nationalism are particularly serious" and are of great concern among the authorities.
The young extremists commit these
attacks to protest against the actions of the Israeli government, which they
want to "contain the activity of the settlers" and the expansion of
settlements in the occupied territories.
Meanwhile, new details have emerged regarding clashes between the Israeli military and refugees in the Dheisheh refugee camp during the night of February 23 and 24 to, not far from Bethlehem, during which a young Palestinian was killed.
An autopsy performed on the body of Jihad al-Jafari, a supporter of the Fatah movement, linked to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, shows that he was killed by a gunshot delivered at close impact.
Sabri al-Aloul, forensic expert, says that "it was a kind of execution." A reconstruction that belies the version provided by the Israeli army, according to which the soldiers under attack opened fire at a distance and the young man - who was on the roof of his house - was struck by a bullet.