Several cars were vandalized Tuesday overnight in a town in the West Bank near Ramallah in the fourth anti-Arab hate crime reported this week.
Earlier Wednesday, two vehicles were found burned in northern Israel Wednesday morning in a suspected anti-Arab hate crime. Graffiti reading "Jews let's win" was sprayed on a stone wall nearby. This is the third "price tag" incident reported this week. Police have opened an investigation into both cases.
According to the Israeli fire brigade's spokesperson, a call was received Tuesday overnight regarding a car burning between the Arab villages of Iksal and Daburriyeh. A team called to the scene found two vehicles engulfed in flames and proceeded to put out the fire. Police are searching for suspects.
In the West Bank, several cars had their tires punctured and graffiti was sprayed in the town of Dir Amar near Ramallah in the central West Bank. Among the writings sprayed were the words "We will take our fate in our hands," and another wishing well to a right-wing activist arrested recently for suspected involvement in "price tag" actions.
Palestinians reported later on Wednesday of another incident of "price tag" graffiti sprayed in the West Bank town of Jalud, south of Nablus. Writings included "Let us handle them," as well as others similar to the ones found in Dir Amar.
Bassel Darwasha, deputy head of the Iksal local council, told Haaretz this was a "deplorable and criminal incident which is a result of continued incitement against Arabs and Palestinians." He noted several recent incidents in adjacent villages and added he "hopes this time police and security forces will reach these criminals."
Darwasha concluded he cannot point the finger at a certain settlement as the base for these crimes, but according to him, the area does not lack extremists capable of such acts.
The Coalition against Racism responded to the incident, saying: "Price tag incidents are spreading and several cases have been noted lately, mainly in the West Bank. It is without a doubt that police are not doing enough on the matter. No arrests have been reported and the issue is apparently not taken seriously." The statement added that the "inadequate" treatment by Police is "sadly legitimizing incidents and led to their spreading into Arab villages in Israeli territory as well."
Tag Meir, an NGO started as a counter-movement to "price tag" actions, called the incident "a step up in the terrorist activity of the far-right. Israel Police must defend its citizens and Palestinians in B and C territories from outlaws."
Lawmaker Ahmad Tibi from the Joint List party also condemned the incident as "harsh and racist, necessitating determined action by the police to end hateful acts against Arab citizens and residents like the one in Iksal. Police can't eradicate crime in the Arab communities and is also unsuccessful in obstructing 'price tag' actions against Arabs."
On Sunday, the Shin Bet security agency released data indicating a sharp increase in the number of attacks by Jewish extremists against Palestinians in the West Bank this year, with the number standing at 15 at the time compared to 13 in 2017. The number has since increased to 18, with two more incidents reported later the same day.
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