Dozens of Olive Trees Cut Down in Suspected West Bank Hate Crime

Nationalist slogans were spray-painted near the trees, including 'Regards from the prisoners of Zion,' and 'price tag'

Yotam Berger
Yotam Berger
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The trees vandalized near Ramallah, August 19, 2018
The trees vandalized near Ramallah, August 19, 2018Credit: B'tselem
Yotam Berger
Yotam Berger

Dozens of olive trees were cut down Sunday in a suspected hate crime near the Palestinian town of Ras Karkar in the Ramallah area. According to the Palestinians, 74 trees were cut down to the ground.

Nationalist slogans were spray-painted near the trees, including “Regards from the prisoners of Zion,”and “price tag,” as well as the Hebrew word for “administrative” spelled wrong. The slogans are an apparent reference to the administrative orders barring certain settlers from the West Bank.

Palestinians said trees were also damaged over the weekend in the villages of Luban a-Sharkiyeh and Arabeh, but no nationalist slogans were spray-painted.

On Friday, Palestinians reported that vehicles had been damaged in the villages of Burin and Asira al-Kabaliyeh in the Nablus area. A bulldozer was set ablaze and private vehicles were vandalized.

No spray-painted slogans were found but the police suspect the incidents were hate crimes due to their proximity to the place where an Israeli woman, Hava Roizin, was run over and killed by a Palestinian driver Thursday near the outpost of Havat Gilad.

The driver eventually turned himself in, and The Israel Defense Forces said it was apparently an accident.

In East Jerusalem, Fifteen cars were vandalized overnight on Saturday in the Arab neighborhood of Isawiya in a similar "price tag" attack.

The tires of the vehicles were slashed and offensive graffiti was sprayed on one of the cars and on a wall nearby, reading: "The Arabs of Jerusalem are terrorists."

Also scrawled on the wall in Isawiya were the two words "Havat Gilad."

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