Abusive graffiti was found painted in the Palestinian town of Burqa in the West Bank east of Ramallah early Friday morning in a suspected anti-Arab hate crime. Local residents said about 40 vehicles had their tires slashed.
Meanwhile, dozens of olive trees – nearly 100, according to locals – were found destroyed in the Palestinian village of Burin southwest of Nablus.
A security camera in Burqa showed two masked people slashing the tires. The Israel Police and IDF were called to the scene and have begun an investigation into the incident.
This is the fourth incident within a week in which property was vandalized as part of a suspected “price tag” hate crime – a frequency that has not occurred in months. Last Friday, unknown individuals attempted to set fire to a mosque in the town of Aqraba in the northern West Bank. Also last week, two incidents of vandalism took place and racist graffiti was found in the towns of Luban al-Sharqiya, al-Sawiya and Urif in the northern West Bank.
So far no one has been arrested for these crimes, but five right-wing extremists were arrested on Wednesday night on suspicion of hanging posters accusing a senior military commander of "shooting Jews," apparently in reference to the recent evacuation of an unauthorized outpost in the West Bank.
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One poster featured an image of Shomron Brigade commander Col. Gilad Amit and alleged that he was "responsible for a series of attacks on new settlement points in the Samaria region." Last week, three people, including a minor, were arrested during the attempted evacuation by soldiers led by Col. Amit of the outpost known as Rosh Yosef, which is near the settlement of Itamar in the northern West Bank. The outposts' residents pelted the troops with stones, the military said. The soldiers responded by firing tear gas and shooting into the air.
The Rishon Letzion Magistrate’s Court released all the suspects on Thursday and criticized the arrests, saying the arrests were an a priori infringement of the right to freedom of expression.