'Price tag' in Hebrew on wall of mosque
'Price tag' in Hebrew on wall of mosque Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Palestinian Authority Monday morning accused Jews of torching the first floor of a mosque, hours after police destroyed three Jewish homes at Migron.

The left-wing Rabbis for Human Rights substantiated the charges that the attackers broke windows of the mosque, set it on fire and spray painted "Alei Ayin and Migron – Social Justice" on a fence. Alei Ayin and Migron are Jewish communities frequently targeted by the Israeli government for demolitions.

The Bethlehem-based Ma'an news agency, closely associated with the Palestinian Authority, said the assailants were “ultra-orthodox Jewish settlers.”

National religious leaders have denounced violence and have pointed out that perpetrators represent a tiny fraction of Jews in Judea and Samaria, if indeed they committed the acts of vandalism.

Revenge actions sometimes have taken place after government actions against a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria. The demolition of three Jewish homes in Migron, in Samaria, took place in the middle of the night and after an unusual nighttime appeal to the judicial system to overturn a temporary injunction against the destruction.

The government action particularly incensed nationalists because the High Court told Defense Minister Ehud Barak last June that the entire Migron community must be demolished but not until March 2012.

Migron was built with the approval of the Israeli government, and appeals for its demolition were filed by Jewish leftists claiming that the land belongs to Arabs, even though the owners are not identifiable. The court recognized that the land was parcelled out by Jordan and as such is not state land.