Mosque torched in West Bank

Updated: 2015-02-25 16:46


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JERUSALEM - A mosque was set ablaze early Wednesday in the West Bank village of Jabaa near Bethlehem, in another suspected hate crime by Jewish extremists, officials said.

No injuries were reported, but the structure was damaged and Hebrew-language hate graffiti were spray-painted on walls of the mosque.

Police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said that a police team and a military force arrived at the scene and launched an investigation, but have yet to apprehend any suspects.

An Israeli security source said the attack was perpetrated after a military force demolished last week a few houses near illegal Jewish outpost of Geulat Zion.

The so-called "price tag" attacks, perpetrated by far-right settlers, target Palestinians' property or religious sites, including mosques and Christian churches, in response to Palestinian violence or, alternatively, to Israeli government moves that are perceived as a threat to the expansion of Jewish settlements.

According to police figures, hundreds of "price tag" attacks were committed annually in the last three years.

In 2013, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israeli authorities will fight the "price tag" attacks with all means at their disposal. However, very few convictions were made on such attacks, though dozens were arrested.

In February 2014, an Israeli youth was sentenced to six months of community service in the first sentence handed over a price tag attack. He and two other minors set fire to Palestinian property in February 2012.