Arab Israeli complains of Galilee price tag attack

Villager says tires slashed, star of David painted on his car while parked in northern Israeli city

Yifa Yaakov is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

The northern Israeli city of Yokne'am, in the Lower Galilee (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
The northern Israeli city of Yokne'am, in the Lower Galilee (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

A resident of the village of Muawiya, in northern Israel, on Sunday complained of a “price tag” attack against his vehicle.

The man, an Arab Israeli, said his tires had been punctured and that a star of David had been painted on his car while it was parked in the industrial area of the Israeli city of Yokne’am, in the Lower Galilee.

Police were investigating the allegations.

Earlier Sunday, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman decried the recent wave of price tag attacks, saying they harmed Israel, especially its nationalist camp.

“The irresponsible people doing this, they are the same one who attack IDF soldiers and officers who risk their lives to defend the State of Israel,” he added, according to Ynet.

Liberman also criticized Arab MKs who “jumped on this issue and inflated it in order to incite against the state of Israel.”

“Price tag” is a term used to describe acts of vandalism and violence associated with the settler movement in retaliation for Palestinian attacks and to protest what they perceive as the Israeli government’s pro-Palestinian policies. Mosques, churches, dovish Israeli groups and even Israeli military bases have been targeted in such assaults.

The foreign minister’s comments come after unidentified assailants on Friday vandalized a mosque in the northern town of Umm al-Fahm, torching the front door of the house of worship and spray-painting a racist invective on its wall.

“Arabs out” was written on the wall of the Araq al-Shabab mosque in what was described in the Israeli media as a suspected price tag attack. The fire lit under the door caused light damage to the building.

Hundreds of worshippers from Umm al-Fahm arrived at the mosque for Friday prayers and found the graffiti. They notified the police, who arrived at the scene. Local police launched an investigation into the attack, the fourth of its kind in northern Israel in the past month, Channel 10 reported.

Friday morning’s attack was the latest in a rash of vandalism and violence targeting Arabs in Israel and the West Bank. Earlier this month, dozens of tires were slashed on at least 15 cars in the Arab village of Jish in the Upper Galilee, and graffiti was scrawled on a wall, reading, “Only non-Jews [should be] removed from our land.”

In March, a monastery near Beit Shemesh was defaced with graffiti and nearby vehicles were vandalized; attackers attempted to set fire to an Arab-owned shop in Jerusalem and damaged nearby cars; the tires of 34 cars were slashed and racist graffiti was scrawled on a bus parked in the northeastern Jerusalem Arab neighborhood of Beit Hanina; and 19 cars were vandalized in the predominantly Arab Israeli town of Jaljulia, among other incidents.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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