Israel says fire at mosque probably not arson

Israeli officials say a fire at a West Bank mosque was probably caused by an electrical problem, not arson

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.

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.

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