Israel Police Suspect Rightist Extremists Set Fire to Palestinian Car Wash

Vandals spray paint the words 'revenge' on the truck's side and 'price tag' on a nearby electrical closet.

Two vehicles were set on fire in what police described as "price tag" attacks in a Palestinian car wash in the East Jerusalem village of Sharafat before dawn on Wednesday.

Fire fighters and police were called to the site, where a GMC mini-van and a truck were going up in flames. Vandals had sprayed the words "revenge" on the truck's side and "price tag" on a nearby electrical closet.

price tag - Shiron Granot - 05012012
Shiron Granot

The term "price tag" refers to vandalism and attacks perpetrated by rightist extremists mostly against Palestinians.

"I got a call from the police at 6 A.M. saying my truck was on fire," said Abu Samir Uda of Beit Safafa, one of the car-wash owners and owner of the burned truck. "We hurried to the site and then we saw the sprayed slogans."

The truck, no longer in use as a vehicle, served as the car wash office and store room and contained several flammable substances.

"If the fire had reached those substances and the electrical closet nearby, everything would have exploded," said Naji Uda, Abu Samir's father.

"We have many Jewish clients. I have no quarrel with anyone, and don't know who would want to do this to us. The government will answer for it," he said.

A number of people were called in for questioning at the police station Wednesday, shortly after the incident.

Meanwhile, the West Bank police said they would appeal to the Supreme Court against the Jerusalem District Court's decision Tuesday, regarding the photographs taken of rightist extremists' breaking into the Efraim brigade base in the West Bank.

A photographer for the newspaper Makor Rishon, who took the photos, refused to give them to the police investigating the case, claiming it would spoil her relations with her sources.

The Magistrate's Court ordered the photographer and newspaper to hand over the photos, at the police's request, but the newspaper appealed to the District Court, which ordered that only a small part of the photos be handed over to the police.

The court ordered most of the photos to be deposited in the court pending a hearing on both sides' reservations.