Tires on five cars were slashed overnight just outside Jerusalem’s Old City and the words “price tag” were found spray-painted on a wall nearby, the latest in a string of suspected nationalist attacks in the capital, police said Tuesday morning.
The incident occurred on Ma’ale Hashalom road, which runs around Mount Zion and the southern wall of the Old City.
Police opened an investigation and said the damaged vehicles likely belong to residents of the adjacent Arab neighborhood of Silwan.
“Price tag” attacks, acts of vandalism usually performed against Arab property and typically carried out by Jewish nationalists in retribution for government moves against the settler community, have become increasingly common.
Mosques, churches, dovish Israeli groups and even Israeli military bases have been targeted by the vandals in recent years.
The past few weeks have seen an uptick in suspected price tag incidents in Jerusalem.
On Sunday, four Jewish yeshiva students, aged 17-26, were caught by police after they reportedly used large rocks to smash at least 15 tombstones in the Greek-Catholic cemetery on Mount Zion.
Earlier this week, two Jewish teens, ages 14 and 16, were caught in the act of using keys and a screwdriver to damage at least eight cars in the area around the tomb of Shimon Hatzadik, which is located in the Jerusalem Arab neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.
Last week, five other cars in Sheikh Jarrah had their tires slashed and the words “price tag” and “Jewish blood is not cheap” was spray-painted on nearby walls.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon announced in July that planning and carrying out price tag attacks will be defined as “illegal organizing,” giving law enforcement the same tools to fight them as they do Islamic terror groups.
Former Shin Bet security agency director Carmi Gillon warned in early September that if current peace talks with the Palestinians make progress, “the next Yigal Amir [the assassin of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin] will emerge from among the people who stand behind price tag attacks.”
Naama Barak and Adiv Sterman contributed to this report.