Vandalized Cars, Graffiti: Israeli Arab Town Hit by 'Despicable' Suspected Hate Crime

23 tires were slashed and malicious graffiti, hinting at involvement of Jewish right-wing activists, sprayed in northern town

Malicious graffiti scrawled in Jish, reading: 'Thousands of orders won't erase the smile,' Israel, July 19, 2019.

Malicious graffiti was scrawled and 23 tires of vehicles were slashed in the Arab town of Jish in northern Israel, local residents said on Friday.

The hateful writings read: "Thousands of orders won't erase the smile," and "Greeting from the restrained," probably referring to right-wing activists against whom the police have issued restraining orders. 

Malicious graffiti scrawled on a vehicle in Jish, reading: 'Greetings from the restrained.'

Jish, also known in Hebrew as Gush Halav, has a population of some 3,000 Christians and Muslims. Some of the residents originally came from the Palestinian village of Biram, near the Lebanese border, from which they were evicted by the Israel Defense Forces in 1948.

The local council head, Elias Elias, called the incident, considered relatively rare in Arab town within Israel, "despicable" and a "loathsome act," urging the police are responsible for locating the perpetrators and those behind them.

The police have launched an investigation into the matter. 

According to Elias, Jish is known as a quiet community and has good neighborly relations with all the Jewish communities surrounding it, thus making it difficult to say who would be interested in vandalizing the residents' property.

Five years ago, Some 40 cars had their tires slashed and anti-Arab graffiti was sprayed on walls in Jish. Among the graffiti was “Only goys [non-Jews] will be driven out of our land.”

In addition, hate crimes were also carried out in Biram, when gravestones were defaced and hateful writings were spayed in a cemetery in the village. The assailants were never arrested.