Aftermath of mosque attack
Photo: B'Tselem

Muslims call for global intervention over torched mosque

Organization of Islamic Countries urges international community to intervene in wake of torching of West Bank mosque; President Peres, PM Netanyahu, defense minister issue condemnations, say perpetrators must be apprehended, brought to justice

The Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC,) which comprises 57 Muslim states, condemned the recent torching of a West Bank mosque and urged the international community to intervene in the affair.


In an official statement, the organization condemned the "burning of Qurans and racist slogans" painted on the mosque's walls, characterizing the incident as a blatant attack on holy sites.


The OIC said that the incident "confirmed the urgent need for the international community's intervention, in order to prompt Israel to end its assaults."


Saturday evening, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the mosque attack and instructed security authorities to act swiftly in order to apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to justice.


"The prime minister reiterated that there is no justification for violence – not that of Jews against Palestinians or vice versa," said sources in Netanyahu's office.


Earlier, President Shimon Peres also condemned the incident and urged authorities to apprehend the perpetrators soon.


"The torching incident is very grave and contradicts the State of Israel's values and its commitment to honoring all religions and believers," he said. "The government, security forces, and law enforcement agencies must urgently adopt all means in order to find the guilty parties and bring them to justice."


Defense Minister Ehud Barak also condemned the event and called it "an extremely severe incident."


"There is no place in Israeli society for those who burn mosques. Whoever did this is trying to harm the relationship with Palestinians and the very chance for negotiations toward a life side by side," said Barak.


'Brutal actions'

On Friday, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas met with Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al) in Amman and declared: "The torching of the mosque is a despicable crime. The settlers' actions are brutal."


The Palestinian president expressed his anger over the incident in the village of Yasuf, saying that that Israel "must stop the settlers from running wild."


The large mosque in Yasuf, east of Salfit, was torched early Friday. Hebrew slurs sprayed on the walls read: "We will burn all of you." The words "price tag" were also scrawled on the walls.


"Price tag" is the slogan adopted some months ago by extremist settlers who carry out reprisals against Palestinians in response to the evacuation of settlement structures by Israeli forces.


Following the incident, clashes broke out between IDF forces and Palestinians near the village of Yasuf, as worshippers hurled stones at the troops. A Border Guard officer was lightly injured in the clashes, as well as five Palestinians.


AFP contributed to the story


פרסום ראשון: 12.12.09, 17:47
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