Suspected Israeli settlers have firebombed the home of a Palestinian family in the southern West Bank, causing extensive damage but no casualties, the village mayor and witnesses said.

Five children and two adults were in the house in Yatta, south of the city of Hebron, at the time of the attack, overnight on Wenesday, in which several incendiary devices were hurled into the property through a window.

Anti-Arab graffiti written in Hebrew near the property declared the attack had been "revenge".

Yatta mayor Mussa Mhamra condemned the "racist crime committed by settlers who wanted to kill an entire Palestinian family".
 
The attack bore the hallmarks of so-called "price tag" violence - a euphemism for nationalist-motivated hate crime by Israelis aimed at Arab property.

Such attacks began as a reaction to state moves against the settlements but have since escalated into a much broader expression of xenophobia.

Petition rejected

On Wednesday, an Israeli High Court rejected a petition to ban demolitions of homes belonging to Palestinians who havve carried out attacks against Israelis.

The propertues include the homes of Ghassan and Udai Abu Jamal, who killed five Israelis when they attacked a synagogue in November.

The court also temporarily froze the order to demolish the home of Palestinian Mutaz Hijazi who shot and wounded right-wing Israeli activist Yehuda Glick in October.

Source: Agencies