Vandals damaged 18 cars in the Palestinian village of Al-Jib near Jerusalem overnight, police said Thursday.
Cars’ 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 were investigating the incident.
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, the daily 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.
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 retaliation for Palestinian violence or government policies seen as hostile to the settler movement.
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.
Earlier this month police said around 160 vehicles were vandalized in a suspected anti-Arab hate crime in the Shuafat neighborhood in East Jerusalem. Tires were slashed on vehicles and graffiti sprayed on walls including the phrase “When Jews are stabbed, do not stay silent.”
Last Thursday police in northern Israel opened a hate crime investigation after cars and buildings were vandalized in an Arab village near Haifa. Some 20 cars in the village of Manshiya Zabda had their tires slashed overnight and Hebrew-language anti-Arab graffiti was found sprayed on the walls of buildings.
One declared: “Muhammad is a pig”; another said: “Arabs are enemies, expel or kill.” Stars of David were also spray painted on a building and on a car.
Police said they were investigating and condemned “any nationalistic hate crime.” They vowed to use all means to bring the perpetrators to justice.