Worshippers at holy cave
Police launched an investigation Monday after Jewish settlers in Hebron accused Palestinians of destroying prayer and psalm books in the Cave of the Patriarchs.
Spokesman for the Jewish settlement in Hebron, Noam Arnon, claimed a double standard was at play. "If Quran books had been torn up I have no doubt the case would be handled drastically and immediately, but when it's damage done to Jewish holy sites there is disregard and whitewashing," he said.
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Every year Jewish and Palestinians worshippers are allowed 10 days at the holy cave. On Monday Jewish prayer-goers arrived to find their holy books vandalized during one of the Muslim days of worship at the cave.
According to Arnon, the incident was not the first to occur. "After every such day we gather shards and appraise the damage. This time the damage occurred to prayer and psalm books; in the past it was mezuzot, furniture, pipes, and faucets," he said.
He added that complaints had been filed before, to no avail. "No one has ever been interrogated or brought to justice. No sanctions exist to prevent such incidents," he said.
MK Uri Ariel (National Union) responded to the incident by saying, "The barbaric behavior of the Hebron rioters, who destroyed holy books in the Cave of the Patriarchs, proves once again that they are an agitating and destructive presence that finds itself among cultured people."
He added that the next government, in which his party is predicted to participate, would strive to secure full Jewish control over the holy site.
Police stated that an investigation has been launched. So far no arrests have been made.