A municipality worker paints over graffiti daubed in Hebrew on a wall of the Romanian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem
A municipality worker paints over graffiti daubed in Hebrew on a wall of the Romanian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem after last year's price-tag attack Reuters

A mosque in the West Bank village of Jabaa, near Bethlehem, has been torched and defaced with hate graffiti in Hebrew in a suspected price-tag attack.

Israeli TV showed footage of the graffiti on the walls that read "we want the redemption of Zion" and "revenge" alongside a Jewish Star of David, AP reported, suggesting that Israeli extremist settlers are responsible for the incident.

In the attack, carried out at dawn, the interior walls and furniture were set alight and damaged. Army forces and anti-terror crime unit are in the village investigating the incident.

"The fire caused considerable damage to the mosque before it was put out by the local residents," the village council head Noman Hemdan told the Anadolu Agency. "The settlers also sprayed racist phrases against Arabs and Muslims, including 'death to Arabs!' on the mosque's walls."

'Price-tag' is a term used by Jewish settlers to describe attacks – usually carried out against Palestinians but also targeting Christian churches and Israeli Arabs – in retribution or punishment for the Israeli government's actions perceived as pro-Palestinian.

The attacks are aimed at exacting "a price" for government actions, such as demolishing settlements.

Last year, the Romanian Orthodox Church on Hahoma Hashlishit street in Jerusalem was sprayed with graffiti reading "King David for the Jews" and "Jesus is garbage" ahead of a visit to the Holy Land by Pope Francis.

"Death to Arabs and Christians and those who hate Israel" was also spray-painted on the offices of the Assembly of Bishops at the Notre Dame Centre, a Vatican-owned complex opposite the walls of Jerusalem's Old CIty.