Israel Police: West Bank Mosque Defaced, Cars Torched in Suspected 'Price Tag' Attack

Attack in village of Dir Istiyya comes one week after settlers accused of perpetrating attack at East Jerusalem car wash.

Israeli police said on Wednesday that a mosque has been defaced with Hebrew graffiti and three cars have been torched in a Palestinian village in the West Bank.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that vandals painted "price tag" and "Gal Arye Yosef" overnight on a wall of the mosque in the village of Dir Istiyya.

price tag - Shiron Granot - 05012012
Shiron Granot

"Price tag" refers to a practice by Jewish extremists of accosting Palestinian property - and more recently, Israeli military bases - in retaliation for Israeli government action against settlers.

Gal Arye Yosef is the name of a small, unauthorized settlement outpost that Israeli security forces demolished on Tuesday.

Last Wednesday, two vehicles were set on fire in what police described as "price tag" attacks in a Palestinian car wash in the East Jerusalem village of Sharafat before dawn.

Fire fighters and police were called to the site, where a GMC mini-van and a truck were going up in flames. Vandals had sprayed the words "revenge" on the truck's side and "price tag" on a nearby electrical closet.

A number of people were called in for questioning at the police station shortly after the incident.

On Thursday, Police Commander Haim Rahamim told the Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice Committee that there were 228 cases of Israelis attacking security forces in the West Bank during 2011, but all were at the initiative of the attackers, who were not pushed into it by police.

Last year, which saw a rash of reports of settler violence against Palestinians and Israeli forces, was the first time the police have kept separate numbers for attacks by Israelis.