Israeli PM condemns attack on West Bank mosque

15:30, June 08, 2011      

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned on Tuesday an assault on a West Bank mosque allegedly carried out by Jewish settlers early Tuesday morning.

Maghayer's village mosque, near the city of Ramallah, was damaged when burning tires were thrown inside. An initial investigation pointed to a group of settlers as being responsible for the arson.

Netanyahu said in a statement that this was a "criminal act meant to provoke" and he hoped that the "arsonists will soon be brought to justice."

He also stressed that freedom of religion is "a core tenet of the State of Israel, and we will take action against anyone who attempts to go against this principle."

The Prime Minister's Office refused to further comment on Netanyahu's remarks, considering that his statement "is already strong enough and shows his point of view," an official at Netanyahu's office told Xinhua.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak followed Netanyahu in condemning the attack and instructed the Israel Defense Forces to take whatever measures needed to find the culprits.

Maghayer's village is close to the Alei Ayin outpost, where Israeli security forces demolished illegal structures last week, leading investigators to believe the mosque's arson may have been a "price tag", locally known as an act of revenge by settlers.

Source: Xinhua
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