26 October 2010

Israeli troops blamed for Korans burned during raid

Jayyus, Palestinian Territories (AFP) - A Palestinian woman on Monday accused Israeli troops of burning two Korans when they came to arrest her husband during an overnight raid in the northern West Bank.

Sahar Beida, 40, said the troops confined her and her daughter to a separate room when they detained her husband Ismail in the town of Jayyus near Qalqiliya.

"When I came out I was shocked to find our Korans were on the front step and had been burned," she told AFP. "They took the Korans from the house and burned them in the alley.

"We didn't see it happen because my daughter and I were in another room. They locked the door and would not let us talk or move or do anything."

An AFP photographer was shown charred pages from a Koran during a visit to the house.

The Israeli military would not immediately comment on the allegations.

Earlier this month vandals in the southern West Bank spray-painted graffiti on a mosque and set it alight, burning several Korans and prayer rugs in an attack blamed on hardline Jewish settlers.

A US pastor's plan to burn a pile of Korans in September sparked international outrage and was condemned across the Muslim world. He dropped the idea following requests to do so from top US officials.

Muslims believe the Koran is the literal word of God revealed to the Prophet Mohammad, and treat physical copies of the holy book with utmost reverence.