Days of Palestine, West Bank –Israeli occupation authorities released 16 extremist Israeli Jewish settlers who burnt Tabgha Church on Thursday.
The extremist Israeli Jewish settlers set fire on Thursday morning to Tabgha Church off Tiberius shores, north-eastern occupied Palestine. Witnesses said the fire came at most of the church, causing much damage
that affected the main prayer hall.
A church adviser blamed extremist Jewish settlers for the incident and Israeli police later said they had arrested 16 settlers from the settlements in the occupied West Bank for questioning. Israeli Police Spokeswoman Luba Samri that ten of those arrested were from Yitzhar, which is known as a bastion of extremists and where settlers have been involved in previous hate crimes. Yitzhar settlers stood behind the majority of incidents during a 2014 wave of anti-Palestinian hate crimes, Israeli security sources estimated. Samri said that the suspected settlers were released shortly after being detained without charge, after providing statements to the authorities. Tabgha was subjected to a previous attack in April 2014 in which church officials said a group of extremist Jewish settlers had damaged crosses and attacked clergy. There has been a long line of attacks on Christian and Muslim holy places, in which the perpetrators are believed to have been Jewish extremist settlers. However, after each attack, those settlers are set free without charges. “This pushes them to continue their hate crimes,” Ali Hassan, Palestinian activist, said. “This is a ‘go ahead’ hint from the Israeli occupation government for these extremists to continue their hate crimes.”