Three orthodox Jews set off firecrackers inside the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth which set off a small fire. Witnesses said they were disguised as Christian travelers. Haim Eliyahu Havivi, 44, has been questioned before about plans to attack Muslim religious places in the past.
Havivi, his Christian wife, Violet, and their 20-year-old daughter were charged on Saturday after being treated for small burns. Abdul Dahamsheh, a Knesset member, said Jewish extremists are treated too lightly.
The incident fuelled protests with thousands of Christian and Muslims angry at the lack of attention into Jewish extremists by the government.
Ramez Jarayseh, the mayor of Nazareth and a Christian, called the act a crime and he blamed it on racism.