West Bank Mosque Desecration Prompts Violence
IDF confirms incident; skirmishes mild so far
This vandalism and arson of a West Bank mosque, which we led our morning round-up with, definitely bears continued watching. As of Friday afternoon in Israel, after initial allegations from Palestinian authorities, Israeli Defense officials confirmed that West Bank settlers desecrated and set fire to a mosque in the Palestinian village of Yasuf, south of Nablus. Since then, the predictable response has begun: stone-throwing at IDF forces, injuring one soldier; a tear-gas and, allegedly, live-fire response. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack, as did prominent Palestinian politician and intellectual Mustafa Barghouti; so, too, did Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. (We also received a press release from the U.S. Orthodox Union, making this valuable point: “Jewish synagogues and holy sites, in Israel and across the globe, have been similarly vandalized and desecrated over the course of history and, thus, Jews should know very well that such actions are beyond the pale.”) Let’s hope that the perpetrators of this act are brought to justice, and that any violence that stems from the incident has already taken place.