Vandals deface Israeli monastery in apparent political act by extremists

Police say vandals have defaced a monastery near Jerusalem, the latest in a series of similar incidents blamed on extremists.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said Wednesday that an investigation is under way. She said minor damage was caused, likely by a firebomb, to the exterior of the Beit Gemal Monastery, where the phrase "price tag" was scrawled onto a wall.

A fringe group of Jewish extremists use the phrase to protest what they perceive as the Israeli government's pro-Palestinian policies, and in retaliation for Palestinian attacks. Israeli leaders across the political spectrum have condemned the attacks.

The monastery is known for its good relations with Israelis who visit to buy its ceramics.

Mosques, churches, dovish Israeli groups and Israeli military bases have been similarly defaced in recent years.