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Setting fire to West Bank mosque outrages Palestinians


09:28, September 06, 2011

RAMALLAH, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- The Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza condemned Monday setting fire to a mosque by Israeli settlers near the northern West Bank city of Nablus and called for an international intervention to put an end to "these serious violations."

Nabil Abu Rdineh, spokesman of the Palestinian Presidency, accused Israel of escalating the measures of settlement in the West Bank to abort the Palestinian approach to the United Nations later on September for international recognition of an independent state of Palestine.

"The crime of setting fire to the mosque committed by the Israeli settlers in the village of Qasrah near Nablus, the expansion of two settlements in the West Bank and the establishment of a settlement on the ruins of a hotel in Jerusalem clearly show Israel's rejection of peace," Abu Rdineh said in a press statement.

He also called on the international community to intervene and pressure on Israel "to stop its practices that violate the international law."

Setting fire to the mosque was reportedly a settlers' response to Israeli security forces' demolition of three constructions early on Monday, which were illegally built up near the settlement of Migron in the area of Ramallah in the West Bank.

The Palestinians are determined to obtain recognition from the United Nations later in September of an independent state to be established on the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 in response to Israel's insistence to keep construction in the Jewish settlements.

Meanwhile, Salam Fayyad, prime minister of the Palestinian caretaker government in the West Bank, said that setting fire to the mosque "is a terrorist action" and promised to renovate the mosque. He held Israel responsible for not arresting those who set fire to the mosque and committed previous crimes.

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