Ramallah, West Bank: A Palestinian official says an attack against a mosque in the West Bank ignited a fire that destroyed its first floor. He blamed Jewish settlers for the attack.
Mayor Faraj al-Naasan says the fire broke out before dawn on Wednesday in the town of Al Mueir, north of Ramallah.
He says that “only Jewish settlers would do this,” citing a previous settler attack against another mosque in the same town two years ago and frequent settler attacks against vehicles and olive groves there.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says police are deployed outside the mosque but that “disturbances” that are underway in the town are preventing an investigation.
The attack comes as Israeli-Palestinian tensions are soaring, mostly over competing claims to a Jerusalem holy site.