A mosque in the West Bank village of Aqraba, near Nablus, was vandalized overnight Monday in an apparent “price tag” attack. Jewish nationalist graffiti was found on an outside wall, rugs inside the mosque were burned and several holy books were damaged, residents said.
The graffiti spray-painted on the mosque, which contained spelling errors, read: “price tag” and “Tapuah is Kahane,” the latter a reference to the Kfar Tapuah settlement and to Meir Kahane, the late ultra-nationalist rabbi and politician.
On Saturday, two Israelis were arrested after a Palestinian family reported that they had been assaulted while harvesting olives. The incident occurred near the Kfar Tapuah settlement.
The vandals broke a window on the mosque to throw flammable materials inside, resulting in the damage to rugs and books.
Police opened an investigation into the incident.
President Reuven Rivlin said Tuesday that he had asked the police to treat the mosque vandalism as an urgent matter and said, “Burning holy places is terrorism, and should be treated as terrorism — whether the crime was racially, religiously or nationalistically motivated.”
“We cannot continue to regard incidents like these as marginal. Rather, we must uproot them. All those who remain silent on such deeds are laying the ground for the next such attack. We must remember that, if we do not act decisively, we will all pay the ‘price tag,'” he added.
Also on Tuesday, the words “don’t hire Arabs” were found graffitied at a construction site in central Jerusalem. Most construction projects in the capital heavily employ Palestinian workers.
“Price tag” refers to vandalism and other hate crimes carried out by Jewish ultra-nationalists. Mosques, churches, dovish Israeli groups and even Israeli military bases have been targeted by nationalist vandals in recent years. The acts have been condemned by Israeli leaders across the political spectrum.