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PHOTOS: W. Bank mosque, Qurans set on fire in suspected hate crime

‘This is a direct continuation of Israeli policy at Al Aqsa [Mosque],’ one resident of Al Mughayir says. New data shows that since establishment of a special police unit to tackle settler attacks, the number of failed investigations has actually increased.

Text by Oren Ziv and Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
Photos by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org

A man inspects Qurans damaged in a suspected arson hate crime against a mosque in the West Bank village of Al Mughayir, November 12, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

A man inspects Qurans damaged in a suspected arson hate crime against a mosque in the West Bank village of Al Mughayir, November 12, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

A mosque in the West Bank village of Al Mughayir was set on fire and severely damaged in a suspected hate crime early Wednesday morning. The first floor of the mosque was completely engulfed but the flames also reached the second floor.

A large number of Qurans were burned in the incident.

Local officials inspect the damage at a mosque hit in a suspected arson hate crime in the West Bank village of Al Mughayir, November 12, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Local officials inspect the damage at a mosque hit in a suspected arson hate crime in the West Bank village of Al Mughayir, November 12, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Speaking to +972, one local resident noted that this was not the first time settlers have set a mosque on fire. The man added that investigations into such incidents by Israeli authorities have brought no justice.

“This is a direct continuation of Israeli policy at Al Aqsa [Mosque],” the resident of Al Mughayir said. “Every mosque is in danger from the settlers.”

Read more: ‘Settler violence: It comes with the territory’

Last month a mosque in the village of Aqraba was set alight in a similar attack.

Palestinian police and firefighters were on the scene.

Israeli media reported that Israeli police had not arrived at the scene to investigate due to clashes taking place nearby.

In northern Israel overnight Tuesday a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a centuries-old synagogue in the Palestinian town of Shfar’am (Shefa-‘Amr). The flames did not penetrate the building.

A man inspects a Quran damaged in a suspected arson hate crime against a mosque in the West Bank village of Al Mughayir, November 12, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

A man inspects a Quran damaged in a suspected arson hate crime against a mosque in the West Bank village of Al Mughayir, November 12, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Local officials and Palestinian police stand in a mosque damaged in a suspected arson hate crime in the West Bank village of Al Mughayir, November 12, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Local officials and Palestinian police stand in a mosque damaged in a suspected arson hate crime in the West Bank village of Al Mughayir, November 12, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Human rights organization Yesh Din this week released a data sheet on Israeli police failures in investigating crimes committed by Israeli settlers against Palestinians.

According to this data, in 2005-2014, a mere 7.4 percent of investigation files led to indictments of Israeli civilians suspected of attacking Palestinians and their property, reflecting a decline of approximately one percent in the rate of such indictments.

Over the past nine years, according to their data, only 7.4 percent of investigations “led to indictments of Israeli civilians suspected of attacking Palestinians and their property.”

In the past two years, following a spate of higher-than-usual settler attacks against Palestinians, the government ordered the creation of a special police investigatory unit dealing exclusively with what Israel describes as “nationalistic crimes.”

Since the creation of the Nationalistic Crimes Unit in the West Bank, “the failure rate of the Israel Police in properly investigating ideological offenses against Palestinians has in fact worsened,” according to Yesh Din.

In 2013-2014, a statement by Yesh Din said, that nearly 90 percent of police investigations in the past two years were closed without indictment due to what the organization terms “investigative failures.”

“The figures prove the pretentious declarations of a campaign against nationalist crime are meaningless,” said Noa Cohen of Yesh Din’s research department. “Ideological crime in the West Bank continues to be used for intimidation and for seizing land.”

A man inspects Qurans damaged in a suspected arson hate crime against a mosque in the West Bank village of Al Mughayir, November 12, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

A man inspects Qurans damaged in a suspected arson hate crime against a mosque in the West Bank village of Al Mughayir, November 12, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

A mosque damaged in a suspected arson hate crime in the West Bank village of Al Mughayir, November 12, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

A mosque damaged in a suspected arson hate crime in the West Bank village of Al Mughayir, November 12, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Palestinians enter a mosque damaged in a suspected arson hate crime in the West Bank village of Al Mughayir, November 12, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Palestinians enter a mosque damaged in a suspected arson hate crime in the West Bank village of Al Mughayir, November 12, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Related:
Settler violence: It comes with the territory
Palestinians catch settlers allegedly attempting a ‘price tag’ attack
West Bank mosque set ablaze in suspected settler attack

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    COMMENTS

    1. Shaun

      First picture is of Mohammad Hussein. He is more than just a local official. Might want to add that in. and while you are at it, maybe make a note about his interpretations of the Gharqad tree protecting Jews.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Disgusted

      This is the fourth mosque set on fire, not including the stamp attacks. I would not be surprised if a synagog is torched now. Its all backwards and forwards at this point – with no one rising above,

      Petty. Just petty and gross.

      I am sorry their holy books were burned I wouldn’t want to see a scroll like that.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Amkah

      any act against a church, a synagogue or a mosque must be strongly condemned!

      Reply to Comment
    4. Victor Arajs

      Molotov cocktail was thrown at a centuries-old synagogue in the Palestinian town of Shfar’am (Shefa-’Amr)… I am glad you are finally acknowledging that towns within the so called holy green line are Palestine too. As punishment, this synagogue should be converted to a Mosque

      Reply to Comment
    5. Josh

      Fascism. Nothing more, nothing less.

      Reply to Comment