Cars vandalized in West Bank town in suspected hate crime

Footage shows the windows of three cars smashed in Turmusaya by four hooded suspects who police say entered the Palestinian town overnight

Police opened an investigation on Friday into the vandalism of three cars in the West Bank town of Turmusaya, close to the city of Ramallah.

Police said the suspects entered the town overnight and damaged three cars, smashing windows and windscreens.

In security camera footage, four suspects with their faces obscured by hoods, can be seen running toward parked cars before they begin to damage the vehicles.

Hebrew-language media reported the incident was a suspected anti-Arab hate crime.

Car vandalized in the West Bank town of Turmusaya, January 25, 2019 (Courtesy)

Police forces and forensic investigators, with the assistance of IDF forces, prepared to enter the town to collect evidence from the crime scene.

On Wednesday police opened an investigation into the destruction of a vineyard in Hebron, which Israelis say was carried out by neighboring Palestinians.

A Jewish farmer from the Tel Rumeida neighborhood arrived at his field to find dozens of grapevines chopped down and irrigation pipes damaged.

The Honenu legal aid organization representing the farmer claimed the vandalism was carried out by Palestinians, who had received an IDF permit early Wednesday morning to tend to their olive trees located in an adjacent field.

The army did not immediately respond to The Times of Israel’s request for comment.

A grapevine belonging to an Israeli farmer in Hebron that was chopped down on January 23, 2019. (Honenu)

Hebron and its environs are a frequent flashpoint, with the southern West Bank city divided between Israeli and Palestinian control and the two populations often coming into contact with each other.

Some 15 miles south, Palestinians in the village of Tuwani reported earlier this month that Israeli settlers chopped down 15 olive trees and spray-painted “Death to Arabs” on a large stone at the scene. There too, police opened an investigation, but an arrest has yet to be made.

Jacob Magid contributed to this report.

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