Racist Graffiti, Vandalized Cars in Palestinian Village Amid Reported Rise in Settler Violence

'The army is here 24 hours, we know that they have cameras. How is it that when it comes to settlers inside the village, suddenly they don’t have a clue?'

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Slashed tires in the West Bank village of Lubban al-Sharqiya, July 9, 2020.
Slashed tires in the West Bank village of Lubban al-Sharqiya, July 9, 2020.Credit: Lubban al-Sharqiya Village Council

Thirteen vehicles were vandalized late Wednesday night in the Palestinian village of Lubban al-Sharqiya near Nablus in the northern West Bank. Graffiti with a Star of David were spray painted on a bus. Police are investigating the incident.

The head of the village council, Yakub Awis, told Haaretz that this is the third time in two years that vehicles were vandalized and tires slashed in the village. “The army is here 24 hours, we know that they have cameras because a child throws a rock and they know who he is," Awis said. "How is it that when it comes to settlers inside the village, suddenly they don’t have a clue?”

According to B’Tselem, there has been a rise in the number of documented incidents of attacks, vandalism and the expulsion of Palestinian farmers by the residents of Jewish settlements. Lubban al-Sharqiya is located near the settlements of Rehelim, Ma’aleh Levona and Eli.

Graffiti painted on a bus in Lubban al-Sharqiya, July 9, 2020.
Graffiti painted on a bus in Lubban al-Sharqiya, July 9, 2020.Credit: Lubban al-Sharqiya Village Council

Last month, 12 cars were vandalized in the neighboring village of As-Sawiya. A security video showed an unknown person slashing tires, and the slogan “The People of Israel Live” was discovered on a wall. Sami Khalil, a resident of the village, said: “I checked my security camera and saw that whoever did it passed close to the window where my children were sleeping. Some needs to deal with this seriously. It is the reality that we wake up to.”

As-Sawiya residents also say that over the past few months, the number of incidents of vandalism has gotten worse. At the end of April, 33 olive trees were cut down in the village, and on Thursday 36 olive trees were vandalized in Burin, near the settlement of Yitzhar. In October, 24 trees belonging to one man were vandalized.

B’Tselem says 30 physical attacks, incidents of vandalism and driving away of Palestinian farmers by settlers occurred in the West Bank in June. In May, the organization documented 16 such incidents, and 29 in April. This represents an increase; there were 11 documented cases in January.

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