Price tag vandalism (illustration)
Price tag vandalism (illustration)Flash 90

Anti-Muslim graffiti was found scrawled on a mosque in northern Israel on Tuesday, police said, in an alleged "price tag" attack. 

"Unidentified people drew a Star of David and wrote 'close the mosques and open yeshivas' (Jewish seminaries) on the outer wall" of the mosque in Fureidis, an Israeli Arab town near Haifa, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP.

"The tires of several cars parked nearby were slashed," he said, adding that "crimes committed for nationalist motives are extremely serious."

Police footage has been released showing three hooded men approaching the mosque in the early hours of Tuesday morning, then leaving after a short time. It is unclear whether they were Jewish or Israeli Arab and there are few identifying characteristics other than their hooded sweatshirts. 

Real or Staged?

This is the latest in a string of vandalism incidents in Arab villages over the past several months. Earlier this month, the words "Eviction order - Arabs Out" were scrawled (in Hebrew) on an interior wall of a mosque in Umm Al-Fahm, and a door leading to the outside had been burnt.

In addition, forty cars were found with their tires slashed in the Arab village of Jish in the Galilee; four vehicles were also vandalized and graffiti had been scrawled on the Dir-Rafat monastery near Beit Shemesh. 

"Price tag" is a euphemism for politically-motivated vandalism and criminal damage usually attributed to Jewish extremists, carried out either in revenge for Arab terrorist attacks, or in protest of Israeli government policies such as the destruction of Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria.  

It remains unclear whether any of the above incidents were actual "price tag" attacks, however, as an Arutz Sheva report in January revealed that in at least some of the cases, anti-Arab "price tags" were being systematically staged by Arab activists. As critics noted after the Umm Al-Fahm attack, gaining access to an Arab city is difficult and risky, and there is no confirmation that the attack is the result of nationalist-motivated vandalism. 

There have also been numerous incidents of Arab "price tagging", though such incidents have received far less media coverage.