Jewish settlers have punctured the tyres of 19 Palestinian-owned vehicles and sprayed anti-Arab graffiti in an east Jerusalem neighbourhood in a purported price attack, according to Army Radio.

Police launched an investigation into the incident, which occurred in Ein Aluza, near Silwan, which is sited just south of the Old City.

The graffiti, sprayed on a nearby wall, read: "Arab labour=assimilation" and more on a van saying "Enough of the assimilation".

The word assimilation is a derogative reference to the thousands of Palestinian workers and labourers employed across Israel.

'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 anti-settler.

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

In January, Jewish settlers who entered a West Bank village to carry out price-tag attacks were rescued from a lynching by Arab villagers thanks to a group of elderly Palestinians.

A mosque in the occupied West Bank village of Deir Istiya was set on fire and graffiti in Hebrew was scrawled on the building's wall, reading "Arabs out" and "Revenge for spilled blood in Qusra".

Last week, three settlers were charged for launching an "unprovoked anti-Arab attack", marking the first indictment for this kind of hate attacks.

The Shin Bet security service described as "unprovoked" those attacks that did not come in retaliation to a settlement evacuation.

The three men, from the West Bank settlement of Havat Gilad, were charged with torching a car and truck and spraying a Star of David on a wall in the Palestinian village of Farata.