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Ref: 93/2011

   

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns
the systematic attacks carried out by settlers against Islamic and Christian
holy places in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), the latest of which
was setting fire to the ground floor of (Thu al-Norain) mosque in Qasra
village, southeast of Nablus. This new
crime is part of settler attacks against the Palestinian civilians which come
on the eve of the Palestinian Authority heading to the United Nations, pursuing
full membership of Palestine in the United Nations. Additionally, these attacks are carried out
in the context of incitement practiced by the Israeli government against the
Palestinian people, which encourages settlers to continue their attacks.


According to investigations conducted by PCHR, on Monday morning,
05 September 2011, a group of settlers from the Yesh Koudec settlement outpost
entered into Qasra village, located approximately 2 north of the outpost. They
broke a window on the ground floor of the two-storey (Thu al-Norain) mosque,
which is situated in the southwestern side of Qasra. The settlers then brought two tires to the
ground floor, poured a flammable substance from a bottle, threw the bottle near
the tires and set fire to the mosque. As
a result, the fire spread across the targeted floor and caused damages to the
walls and ceiling. After starting the
fire, the settlers wrote on the walls of the mosque. The writings included insults to the Prophet
Mohammed and “social justice”, a reference to the social protests in
Israel. They also drew the (Red Star of
David) on the wall of Ayman Tayseer Omran’s house, which is located near the
mosque.


PCHR emphasizes its condemnation regarding this attack and warns
against the escalation of settler attacks in the coming days. It furthermore:


1. Calls
upon the Israeli Occupation Forces to stop offering permanent protection to the
settlers by covering up their crimes against Palestinian civilians and their
property, by which the settlers are encouraged to continue carrying out such
attacks;

2. Calls
upon the international community to exert pressure on the Israeli government in
order to hold the latter accountable under international law and end all forms
of settlement in oPt;

3. Reminds
the international community that the construction of settlements in occupied
territory constitutes a war crime under international law. Therefore, the High Contracting Parties to
the Fourth Geneva Convention, individually or collectively, have to fulfill
their legal and moral obligations and work towards ensuring Israel’s abidance
by the Convention and its implementation in the oPt according to article 1 of
the Convention.