Israeli police launched an investigation Wednesday into 300 grapevines cut down in a vineyard near the town of Beit Arun in the southern West Bank near Hebron. The plants were cut to the root, nearly destroying the vineyard, in an apparent an act of vandalism overnight between Tuesday and Wednesday.
Graffiti with the message "we will reach everywhere," was also found Wednesday spray-painted in Hebrew on a nearby rock.
Police were called to the scene along with the Israeli army upon their discovery. The incident is the latest in a number of vandalism cases involving Arab property. On Monday, 26 parked cars in the East Jerusalem Arab neighborhood of Shoafat had their tires slashed. Graffiti with the slogan “Jews wake up” was spray- painted on nearby walls.
Similar incidents had been committed in the West Bank, Jerusalem and the north of Israel recently. As far as is known, no suspects are currently in custody in any of the cases, although last month the Shin Bet security service arrested a juvenile suspect thought to be involved in some of the cases. He has since been released subject to limitations.
Last month, an Israeli farmer who is a resident of the Jordan Valley West Bank settlement of Tomer reported that 150 grapevines in his own vineyard had been chopped down. A number of politicians declared the incident hate crime committed by Palestinians. Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein visited the vandalized vineyard.
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