Palestinians who arrived for morning prayers at a mosque in the village of Deir Istiya, between Qalqiliya and Salfit in Samaria, discovered that the building had been set on fire in a suspected price-tag attack. They were able to put out the fire before it spread.
The mosque suffered minor damages from the attempted arson and was painted with slogans saying "Revenge for the blood spilled in Qusra" (a reference to the clash between Palestinians and settlers in the village of Qusra last week), "Regards from Qusra" and "Get out, Arabs." Most of the damage was done to the mosque's entrance, door and carpet.
The Judea and Samaria District Police opened an investigation into the incident and the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement that it took acts like this very seriously as they diverted the attention of their security forces from their main task of combating terrorism and undermined the stability of the security situation in the region. This attack is thought to be an act of revenge for last week's clashes between Palestinians and settlers in Qusra and Jallud.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon strongly denounced the price-tag phenomenon last week, after the Qusra and Jallud incidents, saying such acts were akin to acts of terror.
"The phenomenon called 'price-tag' is inherently wrong and I consider it outright terror," he said. "We are sparing no effort to find its perpetrators and we will show them zero tolerance. We will act swiftly and without hesitation to eradicate this phenomenon."