'Death to Jews' and Swastikas Sprayed on Jaffa Walls and Storefronts

Israel Police launch investigation seeking the perpetrators of the graffiti; tension between Jews and Arabs in Jaffa is on the rise.

Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich
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Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich

Graffiti, including the words "death to Jews" and swastikas were found spray-painted on walls and store windows in Jaffa early on Wednesday morning. The vandals also spray-painted derogatory phrases directed specifically at Jews living in the mixed city.

The police have launched an investigation seeking the perpetrators, and a municipality crew arrived on the scene to erase the graffiti.

Last month a group of young Jews attacked a Jaffa resident, "because he was an Arab" they told the authorities. Hassan Usraf, 40, was attacked as he was cleaning Herbert Samuel Promenade, which connects Jaffa to Tel Aviv, at 4 A.M. The police said the young men who attacked Usraf had come from a Purim party in the area.

Usraf's wife, Nariman, told Haaretz at the time that her husband said a gang of about 15 men taunted him and attacked him for no reason. He was taken by ambulance to Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, suffering from deep cuts to his head and his eye.

There has been a rise over the past few years in tension between Jews and Arabs in Jaffa. One suggested explanation for the greater tension is due to an increase in the Jewish population of the city following real estate development. Another reason suggested is the presence of a group of Orthodox families who have come to live in the city and are perceived by Jaffa's Arab residents as "an attempt to establish a Jewish settlement in the heart of the city."

Jaffa residents protesting last year against the lack of public housing in their city.Credit: Ofer Vaknin

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