Police have confirmed the fire was started deliberately and Hebrew slogans had been daubed on the walls. There have been similar attacks in the West Bank on mosques before and radical settlers are being blamed for the attacks which target police and local Palestinians they say are involved in violence against the settlement communities.
As with many of the cases, the outside wall of the mosque in defaced in graffiti often displaying the Hebrew word for "price tag". It is the settlers' method for revenge and would usually follow an act of violence dished out towards them, either by police or stone-throwing Palestinians.
Last month, a Jewish settler Asher Palmer, 25, was killed along with his young son when the car he was driving in was targeted by stone-throwing youths. One rock hit Palmer on the head and his car overturned and crashed killing both him and his son.
Among the graffiti scrawled on the mosque walls following these types of attacks have included those terms, "Price Tag",
"Revenge" and "Palmer". It has been 11 years since the last major disturbances between Israeli settlers and Arabs in the small patchwork of villages in Galilee. The Israeli government has acted quickly to distance itself from the attacks. Defence minister, Ehud Barak, said that the “criminals” involved wanted to upset Jewish-Arab relations, reports the New York Times
Israeli president, Shimon Peres, and chief rabbis visited the mosque in the afternoon in a show of solidarity, along with leading clerics from other faiths.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was "outraged" by the arson attack, reports BBC Middle East
. He said: said: "This is an act which is against the values of the state of Israel, which places supreme importance on freedom of religion and freedom of worship." Police said they had arrested a number of suspects in connection with Monday's arson attack.