17 Vehicles Vandalized in Suspected Hate Crime at Palestinian Town Near Jerusalem

Vandals spray-painted the Star of David symbol on the cars, smashed windows and scrawled the slogan 'We don't sleep while our brothers are slain'

Yotam Berger
Yotam Berger
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One of the vandalized cars in the West Bank village of Battir, southwest of Jerusalem, March 20, 2019.
One of the vandalized cars in the West Bank village of Battir, southwest of Jerusalem, March 20, 2019. Credit: Battir Council
Yotam Berger
Yotam Berger

Seventeen vehicles were vandalized in a suspected hate crime that targeted the Palestinian town of Battir, situated southwest of Jerusalem.

The windows of the cars were smashed, and vandals also spray-painted the Star of David symbol on some of the vehicles, along with slogans in Hebrew that read: “We do not sleep while our brothers are being slain” and “Enough with the terror attacks.”

Residents reported the vandalism to the police, which in turn launched an investigation into the incident.

>> Read more: There's a different kind of escalation brewing in the West Bank | Analysis

In January, the windows of three vehicles in the West Bank village of Turmus Ayya were broken. About 15 olive trees were cut down in a grove near the village of Al-Tuwani in the southern West Bank, also in January, by unknown perpetrators. The words “revenge” and “death to Arabs” were spray-painted on rocks in the area.

The past year saw a steep rise in “nationalist crimes,” violence and property damage by Jews against Palestinians in the West Bank. As of mid-December, 482 such incidents had been reported, compared to 140 for 2017.

Violence by settlers and right-wing activists included beating up and throwing stones at Palestinians. More frequently, the offenses consisted of painting nationalist and anti-Arab or anti-Muslim slogans, damaging homes and cars and cutting down trees belonging to Palestinian farmers.

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