JERUSALEM Dec 3 Israeli police arrested three
Jewish settlers on Monday whom they suspect of arson and other
attacks on Palestinian property in the occupied West Bank.
At a time of heightened diplomatic tension over claims to
the land, the men were found carrying fuel and spikes shortly
after a car was torched in a Palestinian village near Hebron. A
police spokesman said they had appeared to be about to conduct a
second attack in another village nearby when they were detained.
Television footage of a burnt car in the village of Dahariya
also showed a wall nearby daubed with the Hebrew words "price
tag" - a slogan used by radical settlers and denoting reprisals
for steps taken by Palestinians, or by the Israeli government,
which they consider against their interests.
Some attacks have damaged mosques and other buildings.
Police see "a strong possibility they (the suspects) were
involved in previous incidents with a nationalistic motive in
the past couple of months", spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
"They were arrested before entering another Palestinian village,
where we suspected they were going to carry out another attack."
The three, all aged in their 20s, have yet to be charged and
were remanded in custody for a week.
It was unclear whether the attack on the car was related to
last week's vote in the United Nations General Assembly which
accorded Palestine the status of "non-member state". Israel has
since announced plans for new settlement building and has
rejected calls from the United States and Europe for restraint.
Palestinians and many Western powers say settlement building
is making a Palestinian state less viable and damaging chances
of a durable peace settlement. Israel says borders must be drawn
up during the negotiations, which have been stalled since 2010.
(Reporting by Allyn Fisher-Ilan and Dan Williams; Editing by