Palestinian officials condemn Israeli army 'mockery' at Jenin mosque during West Bank raid

Images show soldiers reading a Jewish prayer in the style of an Islamic call to prayer

Israeli soldiers recite Jewish prayers in a mosque in Jenin

Israeli soldiers recite Jewish prayers in a mosque in Jenin
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The Israeli army’s desecration of a mosque during a raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin has been condemned by Palestinian authorities.

Israeli troops killed 12 Palestinians – including a child shot at a hospital – in three days of intense raids in Jenin in the West Bank, Palestinian officials and international health charities said on Thursday.

Images circulated on social media showed soldiers inside the mosque using a microphone to read a Jewish prayer in the style of an Islamic call to prayer.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry condemned what it said was a "mockery" of the religious sanctum.

The Palestinian authorities described the operation in Jenin as a "dangerous escalation" and in a statement said the desecration of the mosque by some Israeli troops fanned religious tensions.

The Israeli army said the soldiers were immediately removed from operations, Reuters reported.

"The behaviour of the soldiers in the videos is serious and stands in complete opposition to the values of the [Israeli military]. The soldiers will be disciplined accordingly," it said.

It said it completed a 60-hour operation in the Jenin refugee camp and the city on Thursday evening.

Israel said 14 suspects, including three linked to Hamas, were detained, along with 60 others during “hundreds of raids”.

Soldiers dismantled bomb sites and underground tunnel shafts during the operation that began on December 12, it said.

Turkey has strongly condemned "provocations" by Israeli forces and the desecration of the mosque in Jenin.

Its Foreign Ministry called for those responsible to be punished.

West Bank settler violence on the rise

Violence has been worsening in the West Bank, where Israelis have killed at least 287 people since October 7, the Palestinian authorities said.

Israeli settlers have committed more than 343 attacks in the West Bank, killing eight Palestinians and injuring more than 83, western countries have said.

Nations including Australia, Canada, France, Ireland, Spain and the UK, as well as the EU, called on Israel to take immediate steps to tackle the record-high settler violence, Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

The countries expressed grave concerns about the attacks that have forced more than 1,000 Palestinians from their homes.

“We strongly condemn the violent acts committed by extremist settlers, which are terrorising Palestinian communities," the countries said in a joint statement.

Updated: December 15, 2023, 10:06 AM