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West Bank mosque torched

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Palestinian women stand next to Israeli border police near a barrier leading to the Al-Aqsa Mosque near lions gate in Jerusalem's Old City (File)

Palestinian women stand next to Israeli border police near a barrier leading to the Al-Aqsa Mosque near lions gate in Jerusalem's Old City, on Nov. 2, 2014. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Sunday to the Israeli right-wing Knesset members to show restraint in regard to the Jewish presence in the Al-Aqsa Mosque or the Temple Mount compound.
Palestinian women stand next to Israeli border police near a barrier leading to the Al-Aqsa Mosque near lions gate in Jerusalem’s Old City, on Nov. 2, 2014. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Sunday to the Israeli right-wing Knesset members to show restraint in regard to the Jewish presence in the Al-Aqsa Mosque or the Temple Mount compound.

A mosque was set ablaze early Wednesday in the West Bank village of Jabaa near Bethlehem, in another suspected hate crime by Jewish extremists, officials said.

No injuries to any person were reported, but the structure was damaged and Hebrew-language hate graffiti were spray-painted on the walls of the mosque, Xinhua news agency reported.

Police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said a police team and a military personnel arrived at the scene and launched an investigation, but they were yet to apprehend any suspects.

An Israeli security source said the attack was perpetrated after the military last week demolished a few houses near the illegal Jewish outpost of Geulat Zion.

The so-called “price tag” attacks, perpetrated by far-right settlers, target Palestinians’ property or religious sites, including mosques and Christian churches, in response to Palestinian violence or, alternatively, to Israeli government moves that are perceived as a threat to the expansion of Jewish settlements.

According to police figures, hundreds of “price tag” attacks were committed annually in the last three years.

In 2013, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israeli authorities would fight the “price tag” attacks with all means at their disposal. However, very few convictions were made in such attacks, though dozens were arrested.

In February 2014, an Israeli youth was sentenced to six months of community service in the first sentence handed over for a “price tag” attack. He and two other minors had set fire to Palestinian property in February 2012.

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