|Extremist Israeli Settlers Set Fire to Zaid Bin Hareth Mosque in Jaba' village, Northeast of Jerusalem|
|Wednesday, 20 June 2012 00:00|
Date: 20 June 2012
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the following crime, in which extremist Israeli settlers set fire to the Zaid Bin Hareth Mosque in Jaba' village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem. PCHR notes that the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) - by providing support, protection and not applying all applicable laws - is giving implied permission to settlers and, in fact, encouraging them to commit systematic crimes against Palestinian civilians. In view of the current escalation of crimes committed by Israeli settlers in the West Bank, the international community is required to take prompt and immediate effective steps to provide protection to Palestinian civilians from Israeli settlers and their crimes. Crimes that are committed by the settlers add to all the crimes that are committed by the IOF themselves, which continue without perpetrators being held accountable.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 01:30 on Tuesday, 19 June 2012, a number of the locals in Jaba' village noticed intense smoke coming from a window in the northwestern part of the Zaid Ben Hareth Mosque. These locals immediately rushed to the one-storey Mosque, which is located in the eastern part of Jaba' village, to extinguish the fire. According to eyewitnesses, one of the windows in the Mosque and the carpets inside the Mosque were on fire. The locals were able to extinguish the fire, which destroyed the glass of that window and some of the carpets, in addition to damage done to walls and the frame of that window. Hebrew writing was found on one of the external walls of the Mosque, which referred to war and revenge. The Hebrew writing shows a connection between this crime and the evacuation of the Olbana neighborhood in the Beit Eil settlement, north of Ramallah and al-Bireh. It should also be noted that the Adam settlement is located approximately 500 meters to the east of the Zaid Ben Hareth Mosque.
Having previously warned of the escalation of attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians and their property, PCHR renews its strong condemnation of the act of setting fire to the Zaid Ben Hareth Mosque, and all the attacks launched by Israeli settlers in the West Bank, and:
1. Calls for an end to the protection provided by the IOF to settlers, and to the impunity provided by the IOF to settlers' crimes against Palestinian civilians and their property, which encourage settlers to commit more crimes;
2. Calls upon the international community to exert pressure on the government of Israel to fulfill its obligations under international law and put an end to all settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT);
3. Reminds the international community that settlement is a war crime, in accordance to international law. Thus, the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, individually or collectively, must assume their legal and moral responsibilities and fulfill their obligations by ensuring Israel's respect for the Convention in the OPT, as per Article 1 of the Convention.
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