Israeli Minors Arrested on Suspicion of Vandalizing Cars in Arab Village

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A vandalized car in the Galilee village of Yafia.
A vandalized car with graffiti in Hebrew with the words "price tag" in the Galilee village of Yafia, Oct. 26,2018.Credit: Israel Police spokesman's office
Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel

The Israel Police arrested on Wednesday four minors, aged 15 to 17, on suspicion that they spray painted hateful graffiti against Palestinians and punctured car tires in the northern Israeli Arab village of Yafia in October.

The suspects were released to a house arrest under limiting conditions following their interrogation.

Hebrew graffiti with the word "revenge" on a wall in the Galilee Arab village of Yafia, Oct. 26, 2018.Credit: Israel Police spokesman's office

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The walls of two homes in the village near Nazareth were spray-painted with the words "revenge" and a Star of David. Some 20 cars were damaged, and on some of them perpetrators had scrawled graffiti that read "Price tag" and "Mutual responsibility."

Jewish extremists have used the term "price tag" to describe vandalism or violence aimed at preventing or avenging the evacuation of West Bank settlements by Israeli authorities.

A resident of the village told Haaretz after the incident that "this is not the first time that something like this happens in Yafia, and I really hope that this time the police will find those who did it."

The Yafia Local Council condemned the incident, calling it an act of terror. In a statement released by the council it called on "all the sane people in the Jewish society to raise a voice against such criminal acts. The fascism that begins with Arabs spreads to the sane ones in the Jewish society. Stop the racism."

The majority of such hate crimes take place in the West Bank, where police are struggling to arrest suspects and most cases remain unsolved.

Last week, 15 Palestinian vehicles were vandalized in the Palestinian village of Marda, near the West Bank settlement of Ariel. Residents of the village said that the tires of some cars (including a school bus) were slashed and that graffiti that said "We don't sleep when are brothers are murdered" was sprayed on others. Security cameras in the area documented the incident, and police have opened an investigation. 

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