An abandoned mosque in Jerusalem was vandalized and set on fire in the early hours of Wednesday.
The fire was extinguished by Jerusalem Fire and Rescue Services firefighters. The building sustained light damage. On the outside of the structure were scrawled “Marked for destruction”, “Mohammed is a pig”, “A good Arab is a dead Arab”, “Ramat Gilad” and “price tag”, a phrase which has come to be associated with nationalist retribution for Arab terror acts and government-ordered expulsions or building razings in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat condemned the vandalism, asserting his interest in Jewish-Arab co-existence in Israel’s capital.
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni (Kadima) called the arson a “hate crime”, and accused Judea and Samaria youth of carrying out the attack. According to a statement by Livni, the perpetrators are trying to “forcefully turn Israel into a different state – a state in their extreme, nationalist and violent image.”
In addition to the mosque attack, two Arab vehicles were torched overnight Wednesday – one near Hebron in Kfar Yasuf and one in Kfar Hars near Kalkilya.
Though no arrests of residents or supporters of Judea and Samaria have been reported, police and Shin Bet security services will be increasing surveillance on nationalist activists and leaders in response to the incidents. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu convened a meeting of IDF, police, and Shin Bet officials following an infiltration by 50 Judea and Samaria youth into an IDF base, where they reportedly threw stones and defaced the base.
About the Author: Malkah Fleisher is a graduate of Cardozo Law School in New York City. She is an editor/staff writer at JewishPress.com and co-hosts a weekly Israeli FM radio show. Malkah lives with her husband and two children on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
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