One of Israel's best known writers, Amos Oz, said that Israelis behind 'price tag' attacks against Muslims and Christian are "Hebrew neo-Nazis."
The award-winning author said that the term 'price tag', widely used to describe the attack, and 'hill top youths', the term used to describe the radical settler youths behind the attacks, are sanitized euphemisms.
They are "sweet names for a monster that needs to be called what it is: Hebrew neo-Nazi groups," Oz said at an event in Tel Aviv, which marked his 75th birthday and publication of his new book.
"Our neo-Nazi groups enjoy the support of numerous nationalist or even racist legislators, as
well as rabbis who give them what is in my view pseudo-religious justification," he said at the event.
Oz is staunch supporter of the two-state solution.
Earlier Friday, vandals spray-painted anti-Christian graffiti on a Jerusalem church, despite police stepping up security around religious sites ahead of a visit by Pope Francis later this month.
"Price tag... King David for the Jews... Jesus is garbage" was written in Hebrew on the wall of St George's Romanian Orthodox church near an ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood.
Police also said "Death to Arabs" was found written on a house in the Old City in east Jerusalem, and swastikas were scrawled on the wall of a west Jerusalem apartment.
After Hebrew graffiti reading "Death to Arabs and Christians and to everyone who hates Israel" was daubed on its Notre Dame complex in Jerusalem on Monday, the Roman Catholic church demanded Israeli action.
"The bishops are very concerned about the lack of security and lack of responsiveness from the political sector, and fear an escalation of violence," the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem said.
The attacks on Christian property come amid a rise in anti-Arab property crimes. Israeli ministers held an emergency meeting Wednesday, pledging to enforce harsh measures against perpetrators.
Although police have made scores of arrests, there have been nearly no successful prosecutions for such attacks, and the government has come up under mounting pressure to authorize the Shin Bet internal security agency to step in.