Statement by the Spokesperson on the Mosque Attack in the West Bank, January 11, 2012

The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms today’s most recent vandalizing of a mosque, as well as the burning of three cars, in the West Bank village of Deir Istiya. Hateful, dangerous, and provocative actions such as these are never justified.

We note that the Israeli Government has pledged to capture those responsible for these reprehensible attacks and to bring the perpetrators to justice. We encourage law enforcement officials to do so expeditiously and we encourage local authorities to work together with the community to reduce tension and to defend religious freedom.

We again call for calm on the part of all parties and urge them to avoid any actions that could lead to an escalation of violence. Violence only serves to impede the search for peace between Israelis and Palestinians based on acceptance and respect.

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