Ma'an News Agency
December 20, 2011 - 1:00am

HEBRON (Ma'an) -- A Hebron village mosque was spray-painted with racist slogans on Monday, locals said, in the fourth such attack in two weeks.

Suspected extremist settlers daubed "price tag" and "Yitzhar" on the walls of the mosque in Bani Naim, which lies opposite the Kiryat Arba settlement.

Yitzhar settlement in the northern West Bank is notorious for so-called price tag incidents, in which settlers exact revenge on Palestinians and their property for Israeli government policies towards unauthorized settler outposts.

Radical settlers are suspected of upping their attacks in recent weeks, after three mosques near Ramallah, Jerusalem and Salfit were torched and covered in racist graffiti since Dec. 7.

Earlier Monday, dozens of settlers raided Ramallah village Beitin and set fire to five cars, witnesses told Ma'an.

Settler attacks in the West Bank against Palestinians have increased by more than 50 percent this year, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Israeli settlers number 500,000 in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, living in Jewish-only communities that are illegal under international law.

The Palestinian Authority said on Friday that Israeli forces "do nothing to prevent or punish the rising trend of settler violence."

The mosque arson attacks "shows the contempt which Israel has for the rule of law and for the international community, whose calls for legal behavior are always ignored. Above all it shows contempt for Palestinian lives, religions and property," the PA said.


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