Dozens of Grape Vines, Fig Trees Damaged in Suspected West Bank Hate Crime

There had been no reports of hate crimes over the past two weeks – though the months before saw a significant spike

The grape vine damaged in the West Bank village of Burqa, June 26, 2018
Iyad Hadad / B'Tselem

Unknown assailants damaged dozens of fig trees and grape vines near the West Bank village of Burqa on Tuesday. According to sources familiar with the incident, some 35 grapevines and were damaged and seven fig trees were cut down. On a nearby road, the assailants spray-painted: "Enough with the agricultural terrorism, we will reach any place." The authorities launched an investigation.  

There have been no reports of hate crimes over the past two weeks. However, the months before saw several hate crimes perpetrated every week.

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In mid-June, as many as 200 olive trees and grape vines were vandalized in the village of Bayt Sakarya, which is located south of Jerusalem. A few days earlier, dozens of haystacks were burnt in the village of Burin near Nablus.

Also in June, the West Bank District Police released two minors held for two weeks as suspects for "Price Tag" vandalism incidents against Palestinians in the West Bank. Neither suspect was brought before a judge. One of them was denied access to an attorney for much of his time in custody.

This year has seen an exponential spike in hate crimes compared to 2017, according to information published by the Shin Bet in April.