A car was found torched with racist graffiti daubed nearby in East Jerusalem in a possible anti-Arab attack by Jewish right-wing extremists.
The incident occurred near the neighborhoods of Sur Baher and Umm Tuba in the south of the city, near a flashpoint area that has seen ramped up tensions between Arab residents of the city and Israeli troops and civilians.
Next to the burned car the phrases “Death to Arabs” and “administrative revenge” were found scrawled on pavement in Hebrew. The car was found on fire at about 3 a.m. and fire crews were called to the scene to extinguish the flames, according to initial media reports.
“Administrative revenge” is likely a reference to administrative detention, a practice that allows police to hold terror suspects over long terms without charging them, which was recently used to jail a number of extreme right-wing activists and suspected attackers.
Police have opened an investigation.
הפלס' מדווחים כי בצור באהר שבדרום ירושלים הוצת כלי רכב ולידו רוססה הכתובת בעברית "נקמה מנהלית" pic.twitter.com/Ift230NbL7
— Gal Berger גל ברגר (@galberger) October 25, 2015
The attack may have been part of a series of so-called price tag attacks, usually arson and graffiti, which are used by Jewish extremists to target non-Jews — including homes, churches and mosques — as revenge for actions by Israeli officials and others.
Some have pointed to a marked decrease in the incidents since administrative detention was extended to Jewish suspects in early August, following the firebombing of a Palestinian family in the West Bank which left three people dead and one seriously injured.
The area has been subject to partial closure by police for the past week along with several other Arab East Jerusalem neighborhoods, as Israel attempts to clamp down on a series of stabbings and other attacks, many of which have originated in the Arab parts of the city.
Nearby Sur Baher has also seen several clashes between area youths and police.
Five teens from the neighborhood have been charged in the death of Israeli man Alexander Levlovitz, who died on September 14 after his car was hit by rocks while passing near the neighborhood, causing him to crash his car.