MADAMA, West Bank, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Security forces were on higher alert following attacks by Jewish settlers in the West Bank Wednesday in retaliation for a failed lynching, officials said.
Officials said two cars were vandalized and graffiti was found in the Palestinian village of Madama a day after a lynching of Jewish settlers was prevented in Kusra, the Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday.
Palestinians told Israeli military officials four masked individuals entered Madama to carry out the vandalism. Two vehicles were burned and graffiti found nearby read "revenge" and had a price tag along with a Star of David.
Palestinians in Kusra Tuesday prevented the lynching of 14 settlers from the outpost of Esh Kodesh. The Post said Israeli military forces were called to rescue the group that had been cornered at a construction site and beaten.
West Bank Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon Wednesday called hate crimes against Palestinians "terrorism in every way."
"We are working, and will work against the perpetrators with zero tolerance and with a determined, firm hand to defeat this," Ya'alon said.
"There's no connection between these law-breakers and the settlements and their decent residents," the minister said. "We will not allow marginal, extreme, and violent groups to forcefully and illegally take control of properties that are not theirs, to threaten Palestinian residents who work their lands, and thuggish behavior on the ground, in a way that endangers public peace and which could spark a conflagration."