RoP Strikes In West Bank
TAIBA — Efforts were under way on Sunday to calm the situation in this Christian village east of Ramallah after an attack by hundreds of Muslim men from nearby villages left many houses and vehicles torched.
The incident began on Saturday night and lasted until early Sunday, when Palestinian Authority security forces interfered to disperse the attackers. Residents said several houses were looted and many families were forced to flee to Ramallah and other Christian villages, although no one was injured.
The attack on the village of 1,500 was triggered by the murder of a Muslim woman from the nearby village of Deir Jarir earlier this week. The 30-year-old woman, according to PA security sources, was apparently murdered by members of her family for having had a romance with a Christian man from Taiba.
“When her family discovered that she had been involved in a forbidden relationship with a Christian, they apparently forced her to drink poison,” said one source. “Then they buried her without reporting her death to the relevant authorities.”
When the PA security forces decided to launch an investigation into the woman’s death, her family protested for fear that the relationship would be exposed. The family was further infuriated by the decision to exhume the body for autopsy.
The attack is one of the worst against Christians in the West Bank in many years. Residents said it took the PA security forces several hours to reach Taiba. Others complained that the IDF, which is in charge of overall security in the area, did not answer their desperate calls for immediate help.
“More than 500 Muslim men, chanting Allahu akbar [God is great], attacked us at night,” said a Taiba resident. “They poured kerosene on many buildings and set them on fire. Many of the attackers broke into houses and stole furniture, jewelry and electrical appliances.”