Cars Vandalized, Graffiti Sprayed in Suspected Hate Crime Against Israeli Arabs

A house in the Israeli Arab town of Jisr al-Zarqa was sprayed with graffiti glorifying illegal Israeli outpost in the West Bank

Graffiti that reads 'The hill in Izhar, we won't forget and won't forgive' on a house in Jisr az-Zarqa, July 31, 2019.
Riad Najar

Police are investigating a possible hate crime in the Israeli Arab town of Jisr al-Zarqa, on the coast just north of Caesarea, after the tires of 21 cars were pierced on Wednesday night and a house was sprayed with graffiti saying, “The hill in Izhar, we won’t forget and won’t forgive”.

Tag Meir, an organization founded to promote solidarity, called on Israel’s defense forces to put an end to these attacks, dubbed "price tag" by Jewish extremists.

Punctured tires in Jisr az-Zarqa, July 31, 2019.
Riad Najar

“This is the third time this month that price tag rioters raided Arab towns and cause harm to innocent residents,” Tag Meir stated. “The Israel police and Shin Bet security service have to put a stop to rioting by price tag gangs and put a stop to these crimes.”

A member of the local council, Mohammed Lufti, said that until recently, no such incidents had occurred in his community. However, he said, "it is a warning sign for the future."

Hadash lawmaker Ofer Cassif called the incident "an act of terror whose goal is to threaten the town's residents [and] sow fear.

Punctured tires in the village of Jisr az-Zarqa, July 31, 2019.
Riad Najar

"When the prime minister tries to interfere with Arabs voting at the polls, the message is clear – the ‘price tag' is the continuation of the government's policy through other means," he added.

Another resident, Mohammed Jurban, added: "The incident is very bad. It creates mixed feelings, tinged with rage. We are people who are looking for a tranquil life and good neighborly relations with the Jewish communities in the area. It's not acceptable to wake up to this in the morning."

On Monday, forces from the civil administration and border police razed an illegal structure on a hill by the settlement of Izhar. A video shot nearby shows a group of five or more young men throwing rocks at two policemen standing on the road. One of the policemen was mildly injured.