'End Assimilation': Cars Vandalized, Racist Graffiti Sprayed in Northern Israeli Bedouin Village

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Graffiti reading 'end assimilation' in Kamanneh, northern Israel.
Graffiti reading 'end assimilation' in Kamanneh, northern Israel.

The tires of about 20 vehicles were slashed and hateful graffiti was spray-painted in the northern Bedouin village of Kamanneh, police said Friday, in an incident that is being investigated as a hate crime.

Residents discovered graffiti that read "end assimilation" in red spray paint, accompanied by a Star of David.

A spokeswoman for the police said, "Israel Police considers this to be a serious crime and condemns all hate crimes. [We] will use all the means at our disposal to identify the suspects and bring them to justice."

No suspects have been detained so far.

The latest attack follows a similar one within the Green Line last month. While there is no evidence linking the two, these suspected hate crimes come after the far-right Religious Zionism party won six Knesset seats in the March 23 election, bringing into parliment a Kahanist leader, Itamar Ben-Gvir.

Both Ben-Gvir and party leader Bezalel Smotrich have made multiple statements in vehement opposition of marriage between Jews and non-Jews.

Danny Ivri, head of the Misgav Regional Council, condemned the attack in Kamanneh, saying "Racist criminals who try to disrupt the peace and cooperation that prevails between Jews and Arabs will not succeed. Terrorists will not dictate our lives."

The police issued a subsequent announcement that investigators from the National Crime Unit have begun an extensive investigation into the incident. Forces also remained remained in the village for security and to help residents repair the damage.

Mahmoud Sawa'ed, a local resident, told Haaretz the community was taken aback by the incident, adding they don't want to place blame on anyone hastily "and certainly not [their] neighbors in nearby communities." Rather, Sawa'ed said they believe that the suspects came from another area.

He also said that this is the first such incident in the village, which has existed for decades but only formally recognized by Israel in 1995.

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