RAMALLAH, October 3 (JMCC) - Residents of the Galilee village of Tuba Zangaria clashed with Israeli police Monday after a mosque in the village was burned and vandalized, reports the Jerusalem Post
A group of some 300 people marched out of Tuba in the direction of Rosh Pina with the intention of blocking major traffic arteries. During the procession, marchers began throwing stones toward police forces and set tires on fire.
Police forces prevented them from reaching the main junction using crowd dispersal means.
Police pushed the demonstrators back into the village. Large numbers of police have been deployed to the area. Northern District Police Commander Major-General Roni Attia was engaging in dialogue with Arab community notables in the North aimed at calming tensions.
The attack on the mosque was apparently a price tag attack. Graffiti left at the scene was similar to attacks on mosques and other buildings in the West Bank, where settlers have carried out revenge attacks after police dismantled settlement outposts. According to Haaretz
, officials are taking the latest incident very seriously.
The entire interior of the mosque went up in flames, causing heavy damage. Holy books inside the mosque were burned.
Graffiti with the words “price tag” was found on the wall of the mosque.
Northern District Police Commander Major-General Roni Atia who was on the scene described the incident as “very serious in the context of ‘price tag’ attacks.” Atia has set up a special team to investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Residents of the village also described the attack as “very serious.”
In related news, the Palestinian Authority on Monday condemned attacks on olive groves in the West Bank as the annual harvest commences.
Settlers on Sunday night entered the Nablus area villages of Einabus, Huwara and Madama and the Hebron village of Dhahariya and uprooted 500 olive trees.
Government spokesperson Ghassan Khatib called on the Israeli government to hold the settlers responsible. “The settlers’ season of destruction has begun early. These attacks on olive groves follow an increase in number and severity in recent weeks, he said in a statement.