Advertisement

Israel says fire at mosque probably not arson

Israel says fire at mosque probably not arson
Palestinians inspect damage from a fire at a mosque in the West Bank village of Mughayer on Nov. 12. (Majdi Mohammed / Associated Press)

Israeli officials say a fire last month at a West Bank mosque most likely resulted from an electrical problem, not arson.

The Nov. 12 fire destroyed the first floor of the mosque in the village of Mughayer, north of Ramallah, and residents accused Jewish settlers of setting the blaze.

Advertisement

Fire Services spokesman Asaf Abras said earlier this week that fire investigators, working with Israeli police and the Shin Bet security service, believe that the fire almost certainly was an accident. He said investigators found no combustible materials or graffiti at the site. Such items would point to settler vandalism.

The village's mayor, Faraj al-Naasan, disputed the findings. He said residents have "strong reason" to believe that the fire was a settler attack because they have carried out other violence in the past, including a fire at another mosque in town several years earlier.

Advertisement
Advertisement