Teen indicted for Abu Ghosh ‘price tag’ attack
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Teen indicted for Abu Ghosh ‘price tag’ attack

18-year-old from Yitzhar settlement charged with racist vandalism that hit Arab village over a year ago

Yifa Yaakov is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Children sit next to a wall in the Arab-Israeli village of Abu Ghosh on June 18, 2013 where anti-Arab graffiti was sprayed overnight. The graffiti reads “racism or assimilation” and “Arabs out.” (photo credit: Flash90).
Children sit next to a wall in the Arab-Israeli village of Abu Ghosh on June 18, 2013 where anti-Arab graffiti was sprayed overnight. The graffiti reads “racism or assimilation” and “Arabs out.” (photo credit: Flash90).

An 18-year-old resident of the Yitzhar settlement was indicted on Sunday for a racist “price tag” attack committed in the Arab village of Abu Ghosh, near Jerusalem, over a year ago.

The youth was charged with vandalizing cars and property in the village with racist intent.

Last summer, the tires of 34 cars in the village were slashed, and racist invective, including slogans like “racism or assimilation” and “Arabs out,” was spray-painted on cars and walls.

A police investigation into the hate crimes named the Yitzhar youth as their alleged perpetrator.

The June 2013 attack was fiercely condemned by both Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said the perpetrators’ actions went “against the commandments of Judaism.”

The attack was also condemned by Abu Ghosh Mayor Salim Jaber, who had vowed that it would not affect the relations between the residents of Abu Ghosh and their Jewish neighbors.

“Every society has its extremists and its moderates,” he said.

In recent weeks, authorities opened an investigation into graffiti found at a construction site in Kiryat Ye’arim, also known as Telz Stone, a predominantly ultra-Orthodox Jewish community near Jerusalem adjacent to Abu Ghosh.

The words “price tag” and “Kahane was right” were found spray-painted on a tractor at the site.

The term “price tag” is used to describe crimes, typically but not always vandalism or arson of Palestinian property, carried out by extremist Jews as ostensible retribution for Israeli government actions — such as demolition of illegal West Bank construction — which they deem contrary to settler interests.

Located a few miles west of Jerusalem, Abu Ghosh is an Arab village situated among Jewish towns and agricultural settlements on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway, and its 6,000 residents have traditionally enjoyed particularly warm relations with their Jewish neighbors.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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