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Turks protest Israeli mosque burning

8 May 2010 7:24

Hundreds of people have taken to streets of Istanbul burning Israeli flags in protest at a recent attack against Palestinian mosques by Israeli settlers.

The demonstrators — who rallied after the Friday prayer in the Turkish city’s monumental Fatih Mosque — chanted anti-Israeli slogans and warned of massive demonstrations against aggressive Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territories, IRNA reported on Saturday.

The latest anti-Israeli march comes after a May 4 case of “arson” in which Israeli settlers reportedly broke into a mosque in a village near the northern West Bank city of Nablus and set fire to the Muslim house of worship.

The blaze caused damage to the building, desecrating the Islamic site by charring holy books and prayer carpets.

Israeli authorities in the civil administration, however, have voiced doubts about the Palestinian claim, claiming that the fire could have been caused by an electrical short circuit.

The Palestinians, on the other hand, have condemned the latest arson attack and argued that all evidence indicated that Israeli settlers were behind the case.

The arson attack took place as US mediator George Mitchell arrived in the region to make a push for restarting the dormant Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Since its establishment after the Second World War, Israel has either destroyed or seized more than 1,000 mosques in the occupied territories, IRNA quoted Palestinian officials as saying.

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