Arsonists torch abandoned mosque

Dec. 14, 2011 at 7:54 AM

JERUSALEM, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- Arsonists set fire to an abandoned 12th century mosque in Jerusalem early Wednesday after covering the walls with anti-Islamic graffiti, police said.

The Nebi Akasha mosque, in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, was abandoned during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and recently turned into a municipal storage facility, Haaretz reported.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said such actions will not be tolerated.

"We must show zero-tolerance for any kind of violence and maintain the coexistence in the city," Barkat said.

Neighborhood residents denounced the perpetrators.

"These are crazy people who are set to ignite a religious war in the city," one man told Ynetnews.com. "I hope the Arab population understands that this is a minority. There are a lot of hooligans here."

Graffiti spray-painted on the walls of the mosque defamed Islam and Arabs. Authorities also found the phrase "price tag" -- an apparent reference to a dissident Jewish group that has been attacking government and military as well as Palestinian targets.

Police are investigating.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Topics: Nir Barkat
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
North Korea blasts South's idea of unified system
Seven arrests made in Tunisia hotel killings
Uber executives arrested in Paris
Ghost hunters discover woman's body at abandoned Mississippi hospital
Joel Osteen heckled, 6 arrested during service at Houston megachurch