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Cars torched, graffiti sprayed in West Bank Palestinian village

Slogan daubed in Fara’ata, near Qalqilya, reads ‘Quiet will be met with quiet’ and includes reference to Kumi Ori, a controversial Israeli outpost

A car found torched in the West Bank village of Taybeh, November 29, 2019. (Taybeh council)
Illustrative: A car found torched in a West Bank, November 29, 2019. (Taybeh council)

Several vehicles were found torched and graffiti messages spray-painted in the Palestinian village of Fara’ata in the West Bank Friday morning, Hebrew media reported, citing Palestinian sources.

A slogan daubed in the village, which lies close to Qalqilya read, “Quiet will be met with quiet, regards from Kumi Ori.”

Kumi Ori is a controversial Israeli outpost in the West Bank which has become a rallying point for extreme right-wing settlers.

Anti-Arab vandalism by Jewish extremists has become a common occurrence in the West Bank.

Incidents of vandalism against Palestinians and Israeli security forces in the West Bank are commonly referred to as “price tag” attacks, with perpetrators claiming that they are in retaliation for Palestinian violence or government policies seen as hostile to the settler movement.

The Tag Meir anti-racism group said in a statement that the “Jewish terror action overnight is the 60th incident reported in 2019. Palestinian/Arab communities that are under Israeli security responsibility are attacked by Price Tag law-breakers once every 5-6 days, without any real intervention by Israeli security forces,” Channel 13 television news reported.

The incident came after vandals damaged 18 cars in the Palestinian village of Al-Jib near Jerusalem overnight Wednesday.

Car tires were punctured and several of them were graffitied. The wall of a building was spray-painted with the words: “Arabs? Expel or kill!”

Police launched an investigation.

On Sunday, the Haaretz daily reported that the number of hate crimes against Palestinians dropped significantly in 2019, but the boldness of their perpetrators has increased.

Israelis were responsible for 256 cases of violence against Palestinians or security forces this year, primarily in the second half of the year and with a significant portion of them originating in the Yitzhar settlement in the northern West Bank, Haaretz reported. In comparison, 2018 saw 378 such cases.

But unnamed security officials quoted in the report said some of the attacks were on a bigger scale than seen before and required meticulous planning and multiple perpetrators simultaneously at different locations.

Arrests of perpetrators have been exceedingly rare and rights groups lament that convictions are even more unusual, with the majority of charges in such cases being dropped.

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