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Church set ablaze in suspected arson attack

Some unidentified people had set fire to an annexe of a Greek Orthodox seminary just outside the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City and scrawled "graffiti insulting Jesus" on the building

Reports say a church building in Jerusalem has been set on fire in a suspected arson attack by Jewish extremists.

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It was gathered that it will be the second racist attack in the Holy Land in two days.

Some unidentified people had set fire to an annexe of a Greek Orthodox seminary just outside the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City, and scrawled "graffiti insulting Jesus" on the building, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said, describing it as a "nationalist" attack.

Samri added that there were no casualties and the fire was put out before causing significant damage.

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On Wednesday, a mosque near Bethlehem in the southern West Bank was set alight and anti-Arab slogans in Hebrew sprayed on a nearby wall.

The Palestinian foreign ministry said that attack was tantamount to “an official declaration of religious war,” and the United Nations warned it could “inflame an already volatile environment.”

Both incidents bore the hallmarks of so-called “price tag” attacks — a euphemism for nationalist-motivated hate crimes by Jewish extremists, which generally target Palestinians or Arab Israelis but have increasingly also hit Christian and Muslim places of worship.

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