Israeli police flatten mosque, say built illegally

Police spokesman said mosque was knocked down in keeping with a court ruling.

Rahat: Israeli police say they demolished an illegally built mosque in the southern Bedouin city of Rahat, touching off rock-throwing protests by residents.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the two-storey mosque was knocked down on Sunday in keeping with a court ruling.

Mosque activist Yousef Abu-Jama said residents built the structure illegally because Israeli authorities would take too long to issue approval.

Authorities rarely target mosques for demolition. This particular mosque was financed by a group that is frequently in conflict with authorities.

Critics note that Israeli authorities have not yet acted on a court ruling to evacuate Jewish settlers from a building in disputed east Jerusalem that was illegally expanded.

Bureau Report

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