Police opened an investigation into a suspected hate crime Wednesday after dozens of vehicles were vandalized in the central Arab town of Jaljulia.
Tires of some 30 vehicles were slashed overnight by unknown assailants, with some daubed with hate messages in Hebrew.
One message scrawled on the side of a bus read: “Arab watch out, my sister is off limits.”
“This is a very serious act and there is no way we will let such a thing slide,” Jaljulia resident Muhammad Turkman told the Ynet news site. “How long will the racists continue their actions without punishment? Tomorrow they may commit more serious acts that will end in disaster.”
Anti-Arab vandalism by Jewish extremists has become a common occurrence in the West Bank, but is rarer inside Israel.
Incidents of vandalism and attacks against Palestinians and Israeli security forces in the West Bank are commonly referred to as “price tag” attacks, with perpetrators claiming 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.
Tag Meir, an Israeli group that works to counter hate and racism among Israelis, said it “condemns this act of Jewish terrorism in Jaljulia to the highest degree. What begins with the vandalizing of 30 vehicles continues with the destruction of olive trees and houses of worship, and ends with the burning of a family in its sleep.” It was a reference to a 2015 arson attack that killed three members of the Dawabsha family in the Palestinian village of Duma.