Civil Administration officials and border policemen Sunday erased graffiti insulting the Prophet Muhammad which had been daubed on the wall of the Nebi Elias Mosque east of Kalkilya by alleged Jewish vandals before dawn. The incident sparked a spate of intense clashes between soldiers and stonethrowing Palestinians in a number of villages in the Kalkilya area. According to the army, three Palestinians throwing stones and rocks at troops were shot in the lower body during the clashes. An Israeli female motorist was lightly injured in the morning, when stones were thrown at her car as she traveled on the Azoun bypass road. The woman was hospitalized. According to Palestinian reports, a villager saw an Israeli car pull up outside the mosque at 4 a.m. He said that a settler got out of the car and wrote Muhammad was a pig daubed next to a red-painted Star of David, daubed in red paint on the mosque wall. "Early this morning Palestinians contacted Lt.-Col. Mansour Muadi, head of the Kalkilya district coordinating office and informed him of the incident," Lt. Adam Avidan, the civil administration spokesman, said. Muadi together with other administration officials and police went to the site shortly after 7 a.m. and apologized to the local council head and erased the graffiti. The Israel Police have launched an investigation. In recent weeks, there have been a number of violent protests in the West Bank and Gaza over cartoons of Muhammad published in Denmark and France. Last week, the violence forced members of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron to leave their headquarters in the city after an angry mob attacked the building. Yigal Grayeff contributed to this report.