A mosque was set ablaze and vandalized early Wednesday morning in an apparent “price tag” attack in the Palestinian village of Dayr Istiya just north of the Israeli settlement of Ariel.
There was light damage, mainly to the entrance, but the fire did not spread, according to a Rabbis for Human Rights activist in the area.
Graffiti spray-painted on the walls of the mosque read “The revenge of the blood of your servants which is shed Qusra,” “Greetings Qusra” and “Arabs out.”
Police said they were searching for the perpetrators.
The slogans appear to reference a January 7 incident in which 15 Israeli settlers were captured and held by Palestinians after they approached the West Bank village of Qusra. The settlers were reportedly on their way to carry out an attack to protest the Israeli Civil Administration’s uprooting earlier in the day of an olive grove near the West Bank outpost of Esh Kodesh.
The settlers, said to have come from the outpost, claimed later they were merely out hiking. Some of them were beaten by their captors, and were handed over to the IDF after several hours.
There have been a series of so-called price tag attacks in apparent retaliation for the Qusra incident.
On Friday, vandals cut down 30 trees in the Palestinian town of Kfar Kassem and left a sign reading “Greetings Esh Kodesh.”
A day earlier slogans such as “death to the Arabs,” “revenge,” “Jews wake up,” and “Esh Kodesh” were sprayed on the building in the village of Sinjil, near Ramallah.
Price tag attacks, acts of violence and vandalism usually performed against Palestinians and their property and typically carried out by Jewish nationalists as retribution for government moves, have become increasingly common in recent years. Mosques, churches, dovish Israeli groups and Israeli military bases have been targeted in such attacks.
Officials have vowed to crack down on price tag attacks, terming them terror incidents.