Vandals deface mosque, spray 'price tag' graffiti

Perpetrators torch 3 cars in W. Bank village; spray "price tag Gal Yosef"; attack follows dismantling of illegal outpost near Shiloh.

price tag at Deir Estya_311 (photo credit: Aatef Abu Roub/Betselem)
price tag at Deir Estya_311
(photo credit: Aatef Abu Roub/Betselem)
Vandals defaced a West Bank mosque and torched Palestinian vehicles in yet another farright attack overnight on Wednesday, police said.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the incident occurred in Dir Istiya, west of Nablus.
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Perpetrators sprayed the name of two West Bank areas where the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria had destroyed settler structures on Tuesday.
In a pre-dawn raid, the Civil Administration destroyed a small modular home in the Gal Aryeh outpost near the Itamar settlement and later took down some hothouses near the Shiloh settlement in a place called Gal Yosef.
In retaliation, the vandals spray-painted the Hebrew words “Gal Aryeh Yosef” on the mosque’s exterior stone wall.
Rosenfeld added that three cars belonging to Palestinians in the same village were torched.
Police sent a forensic team to the village to gather evidence.
According to Sarit Michaeli of B’Tselem, some of the villagers saw the vandals leave the area in a red car and were able to distinguish two digits from the license plate number.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said he ordered security forces to track down those behind the latest incident, describing them as “criminals” aiming to “harm the delicate fabric of life between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank, and relations between Israel and its neighbors.”
“These acts distract the IDF from its missions,” Barak said.
The Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land issued a statement in the name of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, the Islamic Waqf and Religious Affairs Ministry of the Palestinian Authority, and the Local Churches of the Holy Land condemning the attack.
“The Council calls upon people from all faiths – Christians, Jews and Muslims – to respect all holy places and sites for all three religions, and strongly discourages extremists’ behavior that exploits or involves religion in a political/territorial dispute,” the statement said.
Last week, Jerusalem saw a far-right attack against Arab property as well as an attempted attack against the Knesset.
Two cars were burned in the Arab neighborhood of Sharafat, a small neighborhood located north of Gilo near Beit Safafa.
Next to the burned vehicles, police found graffiti with the words “price-tag” and “revenge.”
Jerusalem Post staff, Tovah Lazaroff and Melanie Lidman contributed to this report.