Residents of the central West Bank village of Duma woke up on Monday to find four homes graffitied with Hebrew hate slogans and tires slashed on five cars in the latest apparent hate crime targeting a Palestinian town.
Among the phrases graffitied were “Expel or kill” and “Jews wake up and expel the adversary,” photos supplied by the Yesh Din rights group showed.
Police did not respond to a request for comment on the incident. The village was the scene of a deadly terror attack in 2015 by Jewish extremists, in which three members of the Dawabsha family were killed in a firebombing.
Duma is among several Palestinian towns and cities in the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea area that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed last week to immediately annex if he wins Tuesday’s election.
The prime minister last week presented a map showing the roughly 22 percent of the West Bank where he plans to extend Israeli sovereignty, with some of the more major Palestinian cities in that area poised to receive special highways linking them to the rest of the West Bank, as well as Jordan. However, no such roads were drawn up for Duma, leaving it isolated and surrounded by Israeli settlements and illegal outposts.
Monday’s apparent hate crime was the second such incident this month, following a similar attack in Asira al-Qibliya, where locals said a group of 15 young settlers from the nearby settlement of Yitzhar entered the northern West Bank town and vandalized three cars, slashing their tires and hurling rocks through their windshields.
Despite the dozens of hate crimes targeting Palestinians and their property over the past year, arrests of perpetrators have been exceedingly rare. Rights groups lament that convictions are even more unusual, with the majority of charges in such cases being dropped.
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% increase in settler attacks on Palestinians in 2018 compared to 2017.