Jerusalem Mosque Desecrated with Graffiti and Set on Fire
Police Investigating Attack on 12th Century Mosque
Vandals set fire to a 12th Century mosque in the centre of Jerusalem, located in the middle of an ultra-Orthodox community.
The Nebi Akasha mosque also had its walls marked with graffiti denigrating Islam and Arabs. There was no structural damage caused by the December 14th, early morning attack.
The graffiti, written in Hebrew, translates to “A good Arab is a dead Arab”, “Kahana is alive” and"Mohammed is a pig",
"We must show zero tolerance toward violence in any shape or form and continue to maintain coexistence in the city," said Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, in a statement.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the violence "intolerable" and told security forces to "to act aggressively" against the perpetrators.
The mosque had not been used as a place of worship since Israel's war of independence in 1948, and it had recently been renovated and turned into a storage facility.
The words "price tag" were also sprayed on the walls – referring to attacks which settlers and extremists say they are carrying out as revenge for any attempts made by the Israeli government to control settlement construction.
The Israeli police have begun an investigation in the arson while its internal security service, Shin Bet, is also said to be looking at the crime.
Other acts of vandalism were reported overnight with two Palestinian cars set on fire, one south of Nablus and the other near Qalqilya.
In a meeting requested by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, Israeli Justice Minister Yaakov Ne'eman recommend that acts of violence by right-wing activists be called “terror acts” and those who commit the acts, “terrorists”.