A large group of Jewish settlers set fire to a mosque in the city of Jerusalem early on Wednesday, one of a growing number of attacks on Palestinians and their institutions as part of the so-called "price tag" for the dismantling of illegal settler "outposts" by the Israeli government. The latest arson attack took place against the Okasha Mosque in west Jerusalem; the building and contents were damaged. The arsonists scrawled offensive anti-Arab and anti-Muslim graffiti on the walls before they left, including insults about Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as well as the now ubiquitous "price tag".
The slogans are the same as those used by groups of settlers who have been active in attacking Palestinians and their properties across the occupied West Bank and inside Israel. They have threatened to carry out further attacks.
A spokesman for the Israeli Fire Service, Assaf Ibras, said that the preliminary investigation into the incident indicates that the fire was started deliberately. The Israeli-run Jerusalem Municipality was instructed to close the mosque when the fire was extinguished.
Meanwhile, in the north of the West Bank, Jewish settlers set fire to three vehicles belonging to Palestinians in Nablus and Salfit. Police reports say that racist slogans were also sprayed on walls near the scenes of the arson attacks.