Palestinian School Torched in West Bank Hate Crime

Graffiti was signed with name of the illegal Jewish outpost Kumi Ori, similar to a series of hate crimes in past months, including the arson of a Jerusalem mosque

Hagar Shezaf
Jack Khoury
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A classroom damaged by fire in Einabus village, near the West Bank city of Nablus, January 28, 2020.
A classroom damaged by fire in Einabus village, near the West Bank city of Nablus, January 28, 2020.Credit: RANEEN SAWAFTA/Reuters
Hagar Shezaf
Jack Khoury

A classroom in the Palestinian village of Einabus near in the West Bank was torched in a hate crime on Tuesday morning.

The arson was allegedly signed by residents of the Jewish settlement of Kumi Ori, near Yitzhar. “You’re demolishing homes?” graffiti in the scene read, referring to the outpost's demolition earlier this month, “That’s only for enemies! Regards from Kumi Ori.”

Nobody was hurt in the attack in Einabus, but school property was damaged. “The settlers’ aggressiveness and the destruction of property have unfortunately become routine,” Einabus Mayor Taleb Hamed said. “Almost every week, there’s an attack that causes damage.”

Residents of the village reported the crime to the Israeli police, which said it was en route to the scene, escorted by Israeli soldiers.

Last week, an East-Jerusalem mosque was torched and graffiti was sprayed on the walls of the building. One of the slogans sprayed on the walls also named the outpost of Kumi Ori. Graffitti on the mosque read, "destroy for Jews?" referring to Israeli demolition of two structures at the outpost, "destroy for enemies!"

כתובת הנאצה שרוססה, הבוקר בכפר עינאבוס
Grafitti on a school damaged by fire in Einabus village, near the West Bank city of Nablus, January 28, 2020.Credit: RANEEN SAWAFTA/רויטרס

Settlers at the outpost have been involved in several violent altercations with Israeli forces, including throwing stones, and have committed a number of hate crimes in Arab villages throughout the West Bank.

Israelis were responsible for 256 acts of violence in the West Bank, directed at either Palestinians or Israel Defense Forces soldiers in 2019, according to figures by the Israeli defense establishment.

Of the 256 incidents last year, 50 were described as “price tag” attacks, six as potential terror attacks, and 200 as acts of vandalism, such as the uprooting of trees.

Only 30 administrative orders were issued against Jews in the West Bank in the same year, including restraining orders, evening curfews and orders barring meetings between certain youths.

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