Arab youths rioted on Monday evening near the village of Tuba Zangriya in the Galilee, in response to the torching of a mosque in the village on Sunday night.
Channel 10 News reported that the youths gathered near the entrance to the village, blocked it and threw rocks at security forces. Police dispersed the rioters using tear gas and stun grenades.
The riots came after earlier on Monday, about 300 people began marching from Tuba Zangriya toward Rosh Pina. Police were able to push them back into the village.
Light damage was caused to carpets and walls in the mosque as a result of the fire. An initial inquiry at the site found some graffiti in Hebrew scrawled on the walls of the mosque. It said “revenge” and “price tag,” among other things.
The suspected arson was condemned by Jewish leaders, far and wide, including by Israel’s chief rabbis.
“I and my fellow religious leaders are crying out for the police, if they have the alleged criminal in custody, to prosecute the perpetrator to the full extent the law allows,” Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar said. “This is blasphemy, a desecration of the State of Israel, and a desecration of all peoples and religions.”
“We all have to speak loudly against terrorism,” he added.
Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger echoed Rabbi Amar’s sentiments, saying, “Seventy years ago they burned synagogues and Torah scrolls. We cannot accept this happening to any other religion. The mosque as a house of worship is an Embassy of God. It must not be harmed.”
Rav Chaim Druckman, the Head of the Center of Bnei Akiva Yeshivas, also condemned the act, saying that “All of the actions that are undertaken under the headline ‘Price Tag’ are horrible, shocking, anti-Jewish and anti-morality.”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reportedly called the head of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) Monday morning and asked him to locate the people responsible for the arson as fast as possible.
Netanyahu’s bureau said that the prime minister “boiled with rage” when he saw photographs of the mosque that was attacked and said that the action contradicts the values of the state of Israel.
“The pictures are shocking and have no place in the state of Israel,” Netanyahu said.