Several hundred police officers arrived early Monday morning at the Migron outpost to raze three permanent homes.
Hours later, a mosque in the West Bank near Nablus was vandalized in what is believed to be a “price tag” attack. “Price tag” refers to the strategy extremist settlers have adopted to exact a price in attacks on Palestinians in retribution for settlement freezes and demolitions or for Palestinian attacks on Jews.
Unknown assailants broke windows on the first floor of the mosque and threw burning tires into the building on Monday morning before prayers, according to reports. The words “Alei Ayin and Migron - Social Justice” was spray painted in Hebrew outside the building.
Palestinian authorities claim settlers have attacked at least six mosques in the West Bank in the past two years.
Israeli forces arrived at the Migron outpost, located several miles north of Jerusalem, to begin razing the structures at 1 a.m. but were forced to halt the operation at 2:30 a.m. following an injunction by a Supreme Court justice. The injunction was canceled at 4:30 a.m., after the high court issued another order, sanctioning the demolition.
Six teens who threw stones at the police were arrested.
The three structures were home to several families, including one woman who had recently had a baby, according to the Jerusalem Post. They had been ordered razed by the Supreme Court following a lawsuit filed by the Yesh Din Israeli human rights group. The three homes were razed separately because they were built recently, following an agreement in 2008 between the Yesha settlers’ group and the state to relocate the entire outpost to a settlement nearby, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Last month, the Supreme Court issued a ruling ordering the state to dismantle the entire outpost, home to about 50 families, by April 2012, after determining that it was built on private Palestinian lands, following a petition by Peace Now.