‘Death to Arabs’: Police probe apparent hate crime in Kafr Qassem
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‘Death to Arabs’: Police probe apparent hate crime in Kafr Qassem

Tires slashed and windshields smashed in rare incident targeting town within Israel; follows similar attacks in West Bank

Jacob Magid is the settlements correspondent for The Times of Israel.

A truck in Kafr Qassem vandalized in an apparent hate crime attack on July 28, 2019. (Israel Police)
A truck in Kafr Qassem vandalized in an apparent hate crime attack on July 28, 2019. (Israel Police)

Police opened a probe into an apparent hate crime overnight Saturday in the central Arab Israeli town of Kafr Qassem, where vandals damaged several trucks and spray-painted Hebrew hate messages such as “Death to Arabs.”

Some of the trucks targeted had their tires slashed and others had their windshields smashed, police said Sunday morning, though they were unable to provide an exact number.

Other graffiti messages daubed on the vehicles as well as on adjacent walls included “End assimilation,” “Racism or assimilation” and “The nation of Israel lives.”

Kafr Qassem was targeted in a similar crime last December, when the tires of 30 vehicles were slashed and one truck was spray-painted with the slogan “Jews will not be silent.”

Glass shards in a car that was damaged in a West Bank stoning attack on July 27, 2019. (courtesy: Hatzalah)

Sill, it was a rare incident targeting an Arab Israeli town in the context of the hate crimes that regularly target Palestinian villages in the West Bank, where suspects are almost never apprehended by police.

In June, police opened six probes into suspected hate crime in various West Bank villages. None have so far seen a suspect arrested.

The incidents, often referred to as price tag attacks, are usually limited to arson and graffiti but have sometimes included physical assaults and even murder.

In December, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs released a report that showed a 69 percent increase in settler attacks on Palestinians in 2018 compared to 2017.

On Saturday, at least 70 olive trees in the northern West Bank village of Yassuf were intentionally damaged by neighboring settlers, according to the Yesh Din rights group.

Hours later, two Israeli children were lightly injured when their car was hit by stones outside the nearby settlement of Karnei Shomron. They were treated by IDF medics before being taken to a nearby hospital. A baby in the car was hit by flying glass but did not require treatment.

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