Car Set Ablaze, Inciting Graffiti Sprayed in Suspected West Bank Hate Crimes

In two separate 'price tag' attacks, Star of David was spray-painted and tires were slashed in Deir Ammar, and some 30 tress were damaged in As-Sawiya

Car vandalized in the in the West Bank village of Taybeh, November 29, 2019.

A vehicle was set on fire and a hateful slogan was spray-painted overnight Thursday in the West Bank village of Taybeh, near Ramallah, while a Star of David was sprayed on three vehicles and their tires were slashed in the West Bank village of Deir Ammar.   

In Taybeh, the writing "Closed-off military zone Kumi Ori" in Hebrew was scrawled along a large wall.

Star of David sprayed on a car in the Palestinian west Bank village of Deir Ammar, November 29, 2019.

The Israeli army enforced a closed-off military area order on the outpost of Kumi Ori hill near the Jewish settlement of Yitzhar following the violence in the area against Israeli soldiers in October, which culminated when some 30 settlers hurled rocks at soldiers and punctured their vehicle's tires, leaving one of the troops lightly wounding.

Car with slashed tires in Deir Ammar, the West Bank, November 29, 2019.

Despite the order, a Border Police tent was set on fire outside Yitzhar, and cars were vandalized in the nearby Palestinian village of Yatma.

'Closed-off military area Kumi Ori hill'  scrawled on the walls of  the Palestinian village of Taybeh, November 29, 2019.

The priest of the Latin Church in Taybeh, Johni abu-Khalil, said that all signs indicate this was a "price tag" attack, adding that there's recently been a hike in these sorts of events.

Abu-Khalil said that nuns who reside in the village suffered verbal violence from settlers last week.

"The incident took place on the edge of the village, despite the fact most of it is defined as Area A [in which the Palestinian Authority has full autonomy]. We are concerned about what might happen in the future. [Israeli] security forces arrived this morning at the village and searched for the perpetrators, but we know that nothing will come out of it," the priest said.

Furthermore, the human rights organization Yesh Din reported that 30 trees were damaged in the Palestinian village of As-Sawiya, near the Rehalim settlement in the West Bank.  

On November 22, Stars of David and slogans reading "Kumi Ori,"and "Are we still a closed-off military zone?" in Hebrew were spray-painted on walls in Beit Dajan, Qabalan, Majdal Beni Fadl near Nablus, and Kafr ad-Dik in Salfit Governorate.

Tress damaged in the Palestinian village of As-Sawiya, near the Rehalim settlement in the West Bank, November 29, 2019.

The vehicle of Suleiman Zayn al-Din, 47, from Majdal Beni Fadl, was also set ablaze overnight Thursday. Al-Din told Haaretz that two people were caught on camera vandalizing his and his son's cars. "They caused damage of tens of thousands of shekels," he said. 

Three weeks ago the police arrested a man who defied an administrative injunction prohibiting him from being in the West Bank.

The man, Neria Zarug, is an activist in the so-called hilltop youth, as young settlers who espouse extreme, hard-line views are sometimes dubbed. He has been residing on a hilltop near Yitzhar called Kumi Ori and openly defying the injunction for over a month. When security forces arrived at a building in the settlement to arrest him, he locked himself in. According to the right-wing Honenu organization, dozens of residents were trying to prevent his arrest. The organization said that 15 people were injured in clashes with police officers.

According to Israeli human rights NGO B'Tselem, there have been 13 incidents during which tires were slashed and hateful graffiti was sprayed in Palestinian villages in the West Bank in October and November, not including the aforementioned incident, or the latest incident in which Palestinian olive groves were vandalized.

On November 14, threatening writings were scrawled and some 25 vehicles were vandalized in the Palestinian village of Qarawat Bani Hassan in the West Bank.

The slogans "Gentiles in the homeland=enemies," and "Israel for the Israeli nation" were spray-painted on the walls of a mosque in the village.