Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly ‘furious’ following an overnight attack on a mosque in northern Galilee, which left the building and several Qurans burned and police fearing that the “price tag” phenomenon of Israeli settlers attacking Muslim targets to protest against the notion of a peace deal, has moved beyond the occupied West Bank and into Israel proper.
The implications are enormous, as the Israeli government was mostly able to shrug off such attacks in the West Bank with public condemnation, but with many settler factions in their coalition it appears to have neither the stomach nor the capability of doing anything to stop such attacks.
Allowing the settler movement to launch religious attacks inside Israel itself doesn’t appear to be an option, and will add fuel to calls from Israel’s top domestic spy agency to defund extremist settler colleges that promote such attacks.
Price tag attacks have been treated within the settlements as a viable strategy to protest calls to curb settlement expansion, This is because the Israeli government’s usual response to tit-for-tat violence is to back the settlers without question and announce new expansions just to spite the Palestinians. Needless to say, that’s not an option inside Israel, as police struggle to cope with anger in the tiny Bedouin village targeted and diplomats await more fallout internationally from the strike.