Skip To Content
Breaking News

Arson Suspected in West Bank Mosque Fire

Israeli firefighters said that a fire in a West Bank mosque appears to be arson; extremist Jews are suspected.

The investigators ruled out an electrical short as the cause of the early Tuesday fire that gutted the mosque and burned Muslim holy books in the Palestinian village of Luban al-Sharqiya, located near Nablus, the Associated Press reported Thursday. Police reportedly have launched an investigation.

Israeli security forces on Tuesday said the fire was caused by an electrical short after originally blaming the fire on “price tag” reprisal by settlers against the 10-month building freeze in Jewish West Bank communities. No graffiti or signs of vandalism were found at the site, according to reports. There was evidence of a break in, however, Haaretz reported.

Palestinian leaders rejected the finding of an electrical problem, placing the blame on area settlers. Village residents heard a vehicle near the mosque at 3 a.m. Tuesday, Ynet reported.

Graffiti was spray-painted last month on a mosque in a village near Nablus and three Palestinian vehicles were set on fire. In a second Nablus-area village, two Palestinian vehicles were torched and the words “price tag” and a Star of David were spray-painted on a village building. In December, a mosque was torched in the Yasuf village and the words “price tag” sprayed on the wall.

Haaretz reported Wednesday that Israel’s defense establishment learned of plans by settler extremists to vandalize mosques to protest the destructions of outposts.


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.