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Jerusalem mosque torched as rightists clash with police

JTA

December 14, 2011 | 8:28 am

A laborer cleans graffiti off a vandalized mosque in Jerusalem Dec.14. Photo by REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

A laborer cleans graffiti off a vandalized mosque in Jerusalem Dec.14. Photo by REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

Israeli right-wing activists clashed with police in Jerusalem, after a mosque in the capital city was targeted by arsonists.

The torching of the mosque on Wednesday morning followed a series of other so-called price tag attacks in the West Bank in reaction to the possible evacuation of illegal outposts.

The Nebi Akasha mosque, built in the 12th century and not in use for several years, was set alight and the words “price tag,” as well as “Mohammed is dead” and “A good Arab is a dead Arab,” were spray painted on and around the site.

Price tag refers to the strategy that extremist settlers and their supporters have adopted to exact a price in attacks on Palestinians in retribution for settlement freezes and demolitions or for Palestinian attacks on Jews.

On Tuesday night, two trucks and a car were set alight in a Palestinian village near Nablus. A Jewish woman was also arrested in connection with rocks thrown at Palestinian cars in the northern West Bank. The incidents reportedly were triggered by the movement of an Israel Defense Forces convoy, which sparked concern that it was on the way to dismantle the Mitzpe Yitzhar outpost, scheduled to be razed by the end of the calendar year, according to Haaretz.

When police in Jerusalem attempted to arrest suspects Wednesday in connection with recent price tag attacks, activists began clashing with officers and rioting, including slashing tires and breaking the windows of several police cars, Haaretz reported.

Also on Wednesday, a special meeting convened by Israeli Justice Minister Yaakov Ne’eman at the request of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, discussed recent acts of violence by extremist settlers, and decided to recommend to Netanyahu that acts of violence by right-wing activists be called terror acts and the perpetrators terrorists.

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