JABA, West Bank, June 19 (UPI) -- Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu condemned the torching of a West Bank mosque before dawn Tuesday and said the assailants would be brought to justice.
"It is an act of intolerant and irresponsible hooligans and we will act swiftly to bring them to justice," Ynetnews.com quoted Netanyahu as saying hours after the mosque was set ablaze and graffiti sprayed on its walls in the West Bank village of Jaba, southeast of Ramallah.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak called the act "deplorable" and said he had instructed the Israeli Army to take the necessary steps to apprehend the assailants. The incident was also condemned by settler leaders, The Times of Israel said.
Shortly after midnight locals said unknown assailants broke a mosque window and threw a lit match inside, causing the fire.
"The war has just begun" and "You will pay the price" were spray painted on the exterior walls. Area residents extinguished the flames limiting the damage, one resident told Israel Radio.
Police have not ruled out the possibility the incident was a "price tag" attack, carried out by extremist settlers opposing the pending evacuation of settlers from the Ulpana neighborhood in the West Bank settlement Beit El next month.
|Additional World News Stories|
WASHINGTON, June 18 (UPI) --General Motors said it would recall 231,000 model year 2006-07 vehicles due to a short in the driver's door that could spontaneously cause a fire.