I’m a resident of Deir Dobwan, I own a construction materials shop in the village center. In addition, I volunteer as the custodian of the mosque on the west side of the village. I take care of cleaning and maintenance, and I usually open the mosque for morning prayers and prepare it for those who come to pray.
On Monday February 4, 2019, I arrived at the mosque at 3:50 am as usual. I noticed writing in Hebrew and stars of David painted on the wall by the mosque entrance. I can’t read Hebrew, but I understood that settlers had done it. I opened the door and saw a sticky and dirty substance that had been poured in through the window. People began arriving and one of them, who can read Hebrew, translated the writing:“the Jewish people live” and “they incite murdering Jews here”.
At 7 am I called the head of council and informed him. He arrived right away. He took photos and talked to the Palestinian DCO.
At noon, the Israeli DCO and the Israeli police arrived. A forensic evidence team collected fingerprints and a sample of the sticky substance. They also took the security camera recording device from the house by the mosque. They said they would check it and return it. They took my testimony. People in the village started being more afraid. We’re afraid they’ll come to our homes. There are significantly fewer people who come to pray since the incident at the mosque.
I’m head of the Deir Dobwan council. We have four mosques in our village. One of them is in the village’s western neighborhood, around two km from the village center and 500-600 meters from the outpost Givat Assaf.
Settler violence is not new to us. We’ve had ‘price tag’ incidents in the past. A month and a half ago, tires were slashed and offensive graffiti was sprayed in an incident in Beitin, the village near us. But this is the first time they’ve harmed the mosque.
On Monday, February 4, 2019, at around 7 am I received a call from one of the people who pray at the mosque, the man who opens the mosque for morning prayers. He told me he saw graffiti in Hebrew on the mosque’s outer walls and entrance: “the Jewish people live” and “they incite murdering Jews here”. In addition, they poured a sticky, dirty and smelly substance in from one of the windows, which must have not been closed.
I went to the mosque immediately. I took photos of the damage and spoke with the Palestinian DCO, which transferred the report to the Israeli DCO. At around 2 pm, the army, the Israeli DCO and the police arrived with a forensics team. They took testimonies from me and the man who goes there to pray and who informed me, and they also took fingerprints from the site.
There aren’t any security cameras at the mosque but there are cameras on the houses around it. Police officers with the investigation and intelligence unit, the unit for nationalist crime, looked at the cameras with me. We didn’t see any movement from the houses west or east of the mosque on the cameras.
South of the mosque, which is the side near the outpost Givat Assaf, there is a house that has cameras. But its residents are in the US. I called someone who has the keys to the house. We went inside but we didn’t have the password for the camera. The police took the DVR and said it would examine it. In the meantime, we haven’t heard anything from them.