ARSONISTS torched a mosque in the north of the occupied West Bank before dawn local time today in an attack blamed on Jewish settlers.
The mosque, located in Lubban ash-Sharqiya some 10km south of Nablus, was largely destroyed in the attack, said the town’s mayor, Jamal Daraghma.
“The settlers set fire to the mosque. Witnesses heard the sound of their cars near the mosque at around 3am and saw them through the window setting fire to the books inside,” Mr Daraghma said, saying most of the mosque had been destroyed.
The town is located next to three Jewish settlements: Eli, Maaleh Levona and Shiloh.
Israel radio said the civil administration, the Israeli military arm that controls the occupied West Bank, had opened an inquiry into the cause of the blaze.
Contacted by AFP, the army could not immediately confirm or deny the report.
On April 14, a mosque in Huwara near Nablus was desecrated by settlers who scrawled Hebrew graffiti and a Star of David over the walls, Palestinian security sources said.
Two cars were also torched during the incident, prompting the Israeli army to open an investigation.
In December, settlers vandalised another mosque in the northern West Bank village of Yasuf, torching Muslim holy books and spraying hate messages in Hebrew. The incident triggered clashes between villagers and Israeli troops.
A 17-year-old from a nearby settlement was later detained.