Suspected 'Price Tag' Revenge Attack Near Ramallah

According to reports, extremists knocked on door before pouring lighter fluid and setting Palestinian house on fire.

Cynthia Blank,

Fire damage to the mosque in Al-Mughayir
Fire damage to the mosque in Al-Mughayir
STR/Flash 90

Palestinian media reported Sunday that a suspected revenge attack committed by "settlers" took place in the Ramallah area.

According to residents of Khirbet Abu Falah, Jewish extremists set fire to a private residence.

The building sustained heavy damage in the attack, but no one was injured. It is believed to have been conducted in revenge for a deadly Palestinian terrorist attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem last week. 

"The Palestinians of Khirbet Abu Falah near Ramallah reported that settlers knocked on their door in the middle of the night. When they didn't answer, the settlers poured lighter fluid over the house setting it and the inhabitants ablaze," the Civil Administration, who is investigating the claim, reported. 

"Hebrew graffiti was also present, including the slogans 'Death to Arabs' and 'Revenge the Blood' as well as the symbol of the Star of David." 

"At 4:00 a.m. settlers came and threw molotov cocktails at a house which partly burned down," Masud Abu Mura, mayor of Khirbet Abu Falah, told AFP. He said four women were inside the house at the time, but they all escaped unharmed.

Mohammed Abdelkarim Hamayel, whose aunt and two female cousins live in the house, said the assailants were believed to be from Shiloh, a few kilometers to the north of the village.

"In the middle of the night, my aunt woke up when she heard voices speaking Hebrew. Someone knocked on the door but she didn't answer because she was afraid," he told AFP.

"They threw a tear gas canister and several molotov cocktails at the balcony which caught fire."

Representatives of the District Coordination Office of the Civil Administration in Ramallah sad that officials are looking into the hate crime complaint with the assistance of security forces.

Israeli police confirmed receiving the report.  Forensic investigators and members of the nationalistic crime unit arrived at the scene.
"It is a two-storey house and the fire caused major damage to the ground floor," police spokeswoman Luba Samri said.

Kol Yisrael reporter Gal Berger posted photos of the alleged attack:

On November 12, a mosque in the neighboring Palestinian town of al-Mughayir was set on fire around 2:30 a.m. Local Palestinian residents called the fire a "price tag" revenge attack by Jewish extremists.  

"The settlers set fire to the whole of the first floor of the mosque" Palestinian officials said. They added that another mosque in the village was set on fire in 2012.

However, police said the incident did not look like a hate crime, as no racist graffiti - a usual element of "price tag" attacks - was found near the scene. 

Several days after the fire, a Channel One reporter visited Al-Mughayir, and reported that the story of arson might have been false. 

He said that when he photographed the building from the inside, it was revealed that a fuse box under the mosque was also burned - as well as a space heater found nearby.

Although the reporter emphatically stressed that the space heater's presence does not automatically deem the "price tag" labeling a lie, he also noted that space heaters - which are very common in Israel - are also infamous for causing fires. 

He added that he could not examine the scene too closely due to security officials cordoning off the site, apparently to avoid confrontations with local Palestinians, who had been rioting in the village since the purported "attack." 




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