Anti-Arab graffiti sprayed on walls of building; worshipers arriving for prayers put out the fire
(SOURCE) A mosque in a village near Bethlehem was set alight early Wednesday morning and anti-Arab graffiti was sprayed on it walls, the Palestinian Maan news agency reported.
Worshipers arriving for prayers at the mosque in Jab’a, which lies to the west of Bethlehem, discovered the fire and quickly put it out. The carpeting inside and the walls of the building were damaged but there were no reports of injuries.
Eyewitnesses said the offensive graffiti, written in Hebrew, called for revenge attacks against Arabs and Muslims.
Local Palestinians believe the arson attack was the work of Jewish settlers.
Right-wing extremists have in the past carried out numerous arson and graffiti attacks on Arab property in the West Bank and also Jerusalem under the “price tag” slogan.
However, the phrase “price tag” did not appear to have been used in the graffiti sprayed on the walls of the targeted mosque.
Earlier this month a West Bank settler was sentenced to three years in prison after being convicted of a racially motivated arson attack in a West Bank village in 2013.
The Lod District Court ruled the incident a “price tag” hate crime and additionally sentenced Binyamin Richter to 12 months probation and ordered him to pay NIS 15,000 ($3,900) as compensation to the owners of the property that was damaged in the attack.
Last month, over a dozen members of the extremist group Lehava were arrested in connection with a price tag arson attack on a bilingual Arabic-Hebrew school in November.
While attacks targeting Palestinian property and holy sites are roundly condemned by Israeli politicians and religious leaders, security officials have often struggled to bring suspected perpetrators to trial.