Jewish extremist vandalism reported in Palestinian town

Hate slogans daubed on cars in Al-Bireh; Defense Minister Gantz says he will hold talks about cracking down on nationalist crimes

Suspected price tag attack in Yafa an-Naseriyye in northern Israel, October 26, 2018 (Police Spokesperson's Unit)
Ilustrative image of a suspected price tag attack, October 26, 2018 (Police Spokesperson's Unit)

Police said Tuesday they were alerted that a number of cars were vandalized in the West Bank Palestinian town of Al-Bireh, close to Ramallah, in what appeared to be an attack by extremist Israeli settlers.

Vehicles were daubed with the Hebrew phrase “price tag” — a slogan used by extremist settlers to describe attacks on Palestinians — as well as the phrase “here is where the enemy lives” and Stars of David, police said in a statement.

Photos from the scene also showed slashed tires on vehicles.

Police and the military were preparing to enter the town to gather evidence, the statement said.

Responding to the vandalism, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that in the coming days he will hold a thorough discussion on a number of measures to boost law enforcement against nationalist crimes in the West Bank.

“We will work to increase the cooperation between entities to deal with the phenomenon. which has also come to the point of injuring IDF soldiers,” he tweeted.

Gantz claimed that over the past year enforcement officials have nearly doubled the number of indictments filed against offenders and vowed “there will be no patience for terror or trouble from any side.”

The incident came amid a recent uptick in attacks by extremist settlers, many of them specifically targeting Palestinian olive groves amid the fall olive harvest in the West Bank that began last month.

In October police arrested two suspects for allegedly macing two soldiers and attacking a Palestinian man outside the illegal Adei Ad outpost. The assault came after a group of settlers allegedly destroyed a Palestinian-owned olive grove near another Palestinian village close to Ramallah.

Defense Minster Benny Gantz speaks at Haaretz Democracy Conference in Jaffa, on November 9, 2021. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Assault and vandalism by settlers against Palestinians and Israeli security forces in the West Bank are commonly referred to as “price tag” attacks. Perpetrators claim that they are retaliation for Palestinian violence or government policies seen as hostile to the settler movement.

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