January 18, 2010
Settlers arrested for torching mosque
Israeli security forces arrested residents of a West Bank settlement in connection with last month’s torching of a Palestinian mosque.
Ten settlers were arrested at two yeshivas in the northern West Bank community of Yitzhar in a late Sunday night raid.
Five are accused of burning down a mosque in the nearby village of Yasuf, allegedly in retaliation for an Israeli government-imposed freeze on building in the settlements. Two of the five reportedly are minors.
More than 100 security officers were involved in the raid and arrests, according to reports. Yitzhar residents told Israeli media that the police and security services officers used excessive force.
In the December mosque attack, arsonists struck before dawn on a Friday, burning furniture, prayer rugs and holy texts, and defacing the mosque’s walls. The attack led to retaliatory violence, including the stabbing of an Israeli woman at a bus stop. The arson attack was internationally condemned.