[Wednesday at Dawn January 15, 2014] A number of Israeli settlers infiltrated into Deir Estia town, near the central West Bank district of Salfit, and burned the entrance of its mosque before locals noticed and extinguished the fire before it spread out.Head of the Deir Estia local counsel, Ayyoub Abu Hijla, told the Palestinian News & Info Agency (WAFA) that the settlers managed to burn the main entrance of the mosque, and that the fire reached sections of the mosqueâ€™s interior, consuming some if its carpets.
â€śThis is the second attack of its kind against this mosqueâ€ť, Abu Hijla said. â€śA resident first noticed the settlers and the fire, and alerted the residents who rushed to extinguish itâ€ť.
Abu Hijla further stated that the settlers also wrote racist graffiti, including ‘Price Tag’, ‘bloody revenge’, and other slurs.
The attack comes just a few days after residents of Deir Estia managed to capture seventeen of the settlers who infiltrated into the village. Israeli soldiers later took the settlers away.
Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Minister of Waqf and Religious Affairs in the West Bank denounced the attack against the mosque and the ongoing Israeli attacks against the holy sites, Palestinian lands and property.
He said that such attacks are â€śreligious persecution against the Palestinian people, Muslims and Christiansâ€ť, as the settlers frequently attack Islamic and Christian holy sites and graveyards.
Al-Habbash further stated that the mosque will be fixed, and will be ready to welcome the worshipers very soon.
â€śIsrael and its settlers are escalating their attacks against our people, our holy sitesâ€ť, he said. â€śThose extremists have no regard to holy sites, such attacks reflect their racist mentalityâ€ť.
He further said that protecting the holy sites in Palestine is not a sole responsibility of the Palestinians, and that the Palestinian people need the assistance of Arab and Islamic countries, and the help of every person who believes in dignity and justice around the globe.
The Islamic-Christian Committee in Palestine denounced the attack, and said that it is part of frequent and ongoing Israeli assaults against holy sites and Palestinian property, in direct violation of international law.
â€śThis is an attack that targets international law, freedom of worship. Israel, the occupying power, is violating its obligationsâ€ť, the committee said. â€śFreedom of worship is being targeted, and Israel is failing to ensure the protection of holy sitesâ€ť.
Abbas Zaky, member of the Central Committee of the Fateh Movement, stated that the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu is protecting those settlers, and is allowing them to lash out and harass the Palestinians, and attack their holy sites.
Settlers Burn Mosque Near Salfit
Wed, 15 Jan 2014 08:44
[Wednesday at Dawn, January 14, 2014] A number of Israeli settlers burned the entrance of Ali Bin Abi Taleb Mosque, in the Deir Estia village, near the central West Bank city of Salfit.
Local sources said that the settlers infiltrated the village and attempted to burn the entire mosque, but local residents saw them and chased them away, managing to extinguish the fire before it spread.
The mosque has been frequently attacked by settlers.
Israeli settlers are responsible for dozens of similar attacks against mosques, churches, Islamic and Christian holy sites and graveyards in occupied Palestine.
In many cases, they wrote racist graffiti, not only against the Arabs and Palestinians but also, in several cases, against the Muslim Prophet Mohammad and Jesus Christ.
On Tuesday, January 14, 2014, dozens of Israeli settlers, protected by soldiers, took over a Palestinian-owned plot of land in an area east of the city of Hebron, and began planting it with olive trees.
On Monday, January 13, 2014, settlers cut down nearly 50 Palestinian olive trees, east of Yatta town, south of the southern West Bank city of Hebron.
Last year, Israelis attacked, defaced and burned
several Islamic and Christian holy sites and graveyards in different parts of occupied Palestine.
They also cut, uprooted and burned hundreds of Palestinians trees, as well as flooded farmlands with sewage water in different parts of the occupied West Bank.