Police have opened an investigation after vandals slashed tires and daubed graffiti on vehicles in an Arab East Jerusalem neighborhood, the force said in a statement Monday.
Hebrew slogans sprayed onto the vehicles and walls in the Silwan neighborhood included the phrases “price tag” and “regards from Itamar” — an apparent reference to 29-year-old Rabbi Itamar Ben-Gal who was stabbed to death outside the settlement of Ariel earlier in the month.
Investigators arrived on the scene and forensic teams gathered evidence, police said.
“Price tag” refers to vandalism and other hate crimes carried out by Jewish ultra-nationalists ostensibly in retaliation for Palestinian violence or government policies perceived as hostile to the settler movement. Mosques, churches, dovish Israeli groups and even Israeli military bases have been targeted by nationalist vandals in recent years.
The acts have been condemned by Israeli leaders across the political spectrum.
On February 5 a Palestinian fatally stabbed Ben-Gal at a bus stop outside Ariel.
Israeli forces are still hunting for the killer, who escaped on foot.
On January 25 a car was torched overnight in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Safafa. Firefighters were called after the vehicle went up in flames. Police then discovered Hebrew-language vandalism in the area, including the words “price tag” daubed on a wall, along with “death to the Arabs.”