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Mosque Attack in Israel; Police Suspect Jewish Extremists

MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images(JERUSALEM) -- A mosque in a Bedouin village in northern Israel went up in flames early Monday morning in what authorities suspect was an arson attack by Jewish right-wing extremists. The inside of the mosque was badly damaged and hundreds of holy books, including the Koran, were destroyed.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vehemently condemned the attack, saying it violates the country's values of freedom of religion and the freedom to worship. The incident has sparked clashes in the Bedouin village, and Israel is increasing its security to prevent further attacks and violence. The country has beefed up security around all mosques after the arson attack.

Graffitti left by the attackers included the last name of Jew killed in a terrorist attack near Hebron last month, leading police to believe this was a "price tag" or revenge attack. Bedouin residents, some who have served in the Israeli army, were stunned by the attack, given they've always had peaceful ties with their Jewish neighbors.

Angry Bedouin youth reportedly retaliated overnight, lighting three municipal buildings on fire.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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