The spray “Dying to Palestine” was painted on the Tayba Islamic Heart in Brooklyn

HOMECREST, Brooklyn (WABC) – A mosque in Brooklyn was destroyed overnight on Thursday, one of the holiest days on the Muslim calendar.

“Death to Palestine” was sprayed on the Tayba Islamic Center on Coney Island Avenue in the Homecrest area.

The vandalism was discovered around 6am when Muslims celebrated Eid al-Fitr, the “Festival of the Breaking of the Fast” on the last day of Ramadan.

Police hoped there was a surveillance video that could lead to an arrest.

“We urge local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to investigate the apparent bias motive for this vandalism and call on elected leaders to denounce this hateful act and violent rhetoric,” said Ahmed Mohamed, Legal Director of CAIR-NY. “The Muslim community is under attack around the world and the lack of effective responses to atrocities committed abroad appears to have encouraged those here to take action against their hatred of Muslims and Palestinians.”

The Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating, and anyone with information on the incident is encouraged to call the NYPD Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish at 1-888-57-PISTA (74782 ) to call).

The crime takes place amid mounting violence between Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East, with the region on the verge of a relentless escalation of hostilities – even when Egyptian negotiators held face-to-face talks with both sides and stepped up mediation efforts.

Previous fighting between Israel and Hamas rulers in the Gaza Strip, including a devastating war in 2014, has been largely confined to the impoverished and blocked Palestinian territory and the Israeli communities on the border. But this round seems to go further and further than it has ever done since the Palestinian intifada or uprising of 2000.
While some rocket strikes hit the Tel Aviv area, Arab and Jewish mobs raged through the streets, brutally beating people and setting fire to cars. Flights have been canceled or diverted from the country’s main airport.

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Tired Palestinians, meanwhile, bleakly marked the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on Thursday, as militants fired rocket after rocket fire and Israel carried out waves of bone-rattling air strikes. Since the rockets began on Monday, Israel has overturned three skyscrapers allegedly housing Hamas facilities after civilians were warned of the evacuation.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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