10/06/2010, 00.00
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Rabbis condemn mosque burning in West Bank

Accompanied by a group of settlers, Jewish religious leaders express solidarity to the Muslims touched by the criminal fire set at the Beit Fajjar mosque. Netanyahu also condemns the attack.

Beit Fajjar (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Six rabbis, in a gesture of solidarity, brought a box of Qur‘ans to the residents of the West Bank village of Beit Fajjar where a mosque suffered an arson attack on Monday. The attack itself is blamed on settlers who set fire to a carpet and a dozen copies of Islam’s holiest book and wrote Hebrew slogans on the walls. The army has vowed to find the perpetrators.

In order to bring the gift, the rabbis and others came to the Palestinian village in bulletproof cars accompanied by Israeli soldiers.

"This visit is to say that although there are people who oppose peace, he who opposes peace is opposed to God," said Rabbi Menachem Froman, founder of a pro-peace movement called Eretz Shalom (Land of Peace).

"Our goal is to share our horror at the attack of the mosque and to clearly state that this is not the way of the Torah or the Jewish way," said Rabbi Shlomo Brin of Yeshivat Har Etzion.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also condemned the attack against the mosque, urging police to find the perpetrators.

The situation is very tense in the West Bank where many Israeli settlements sit close to Palestinian villages and towns.

About 500,000 settlers live in more than 100 settlements built since 1967 when Israel occupied the area during the Six Day War.

All of the settlements are considered illegal under international law but Israel has challenged that claim.

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