Palestinians have accused settlers of setting fire to a mosque.
Eyewitnesses said a group of settlers entered the mosque of Nablus-area village Al-Lubban Ash-Sharqiyya, gathered flammables and set them alight in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Head of the local council of Al-Lubban, Jamal Daraghma said residents living adjacent to the mosque heard cars approaching the building at 3am. The residents saw the group tear curtains from the walls and throw several copies of the Qur’an into a pile on the mosque floor and set the pile aflame.
Complaints to Israel’s Civil Administration saw Palestinians told that the fire was likely the result of an electrical malfunction, Israeli media reported.
Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors settlement activities in the West Bank told Ynet that the source of the fire will soon come to light. “The Israeli experts and our experts are at the scene, but we have no doubt this was arson by settlers. Evidence of this is the collection of Qurans stacked in a pile,” he said.
The mosque’s imam, Sheikh Abdel Naser, said he cannot accuse anyone at this point, but noted that “our area is surrounded by settlers and we are waiting for the investigation of the Palestinian police here, and also of the PA’s Waqf and ministry of religion. At this stage, the mosque is not fit for prayer.”
Head of the mosque’s maintenance committee, Sheikh Majed Daraghmeh, told Ynet that around 3 am residents heard vehicles driving around the area of the mosque, but no one dared to step out because they were certain it was settlers.
“But at 3:45, when the mosque’s imam arrived at the site to prepare for the morning prayers, he saw the mosque on fire. The fire consumed 80%, maybe 90% of the mosque.”
Which leads to the following questions:
- How could there be eyewitnesses who saw the settlers enter the mosque, gather flammables and set them alight, and even tear curtains from the walls and throw copies of the Qur’an into a pile while Sheikh Majed Daraghmeh admits that no one dared to step out? Sounds to me like they not only stepped out, but even entered the mosque and saw exactly what was going on without resisting.
- If there were such eyewitnesses, why would Ghassan Daghlas point only to the pile of Qurans on the floor as “proof” of settler involvement? And why would Sheikh Abdel Naser say he cannot accuse anyone at this point, rather bringing the location of surrounding settlements as circumstantial evidence?
My BS detectors are working overtime on this one, and so should yours.