RAMALLAH, April 13 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday condemned Israeli settlers for torching a mosque in the northern West Bank village of Aqraba.
"Burning the mosque is a crime. The serious crimes committed by the terrorist settlers are carried out under the eyes and protection of the Israeli occupying forces," Abbas said in a statement published by official Wafa News Agency.
The Palestinian government will resort to international institutions "to ensure that these terrorists are punished and the religious sites of the Palestinian people are protected," he noted.
Israeli settlers set fire to a mosque in Aqraba and sprayed racist slogans on its walls early Friday morning, Palestinian sources said.
Security camera footage showed two masked men pouring what seems to be flammable liquid at the entrance to the mosque and setting it on fire before fleeing the scene.
Local residents saw slogans reading "Death" and "Price Tag" sprayed on the external walls of the mosque.
No Israeli sources were immediately available for comment on the incident.
It is not the first time that Palestinians accuse Israeli settlers of vandalizing their religious properties.
In 2015, a mosque in Jerusalem and another in Bethlehem were set ablaze with racist slogans against Islam sprayed on the walls.
The Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories are largely seen as illegal under international law.