Mosque vandalized, tires slashed in West Bank village
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Mosque vandalized, tires slashed in West Bank village

Apparent hate crime discovered in Yasuf, south of Nablus; slogans declare ‘Wake up, Jews’ and ‘I cannot fall asleep while blood is being spilled’

Graffiti daubed on a car in the northern West Bank village of Yasuf reads 'The people of Israel lives,' December 18, 2018. (Muhammad Itiani)
Graffiti daubed on a car in the northern West Bank village of Yasuf reads 'The people of Israel lives,' December 18, 2018. (Muhammad Itiani)

Nearly two dozen cars had their tires slashed and the wall of a mosque was graffitied in the Palestinian village of Yasuf overnight Tuesday in an apparent hate crime, residents of the northern West Bank town reported.

“I cannot fall asleep while blood is being spilled” was found sprayed on the wall of the mosque, and a car was daubed with the slogan, “Jews, wake up.”

Israel Police said in a statement that it was preparing to enter the village to investigate the incident, along with the army.

Yasuf is located south of Nablus, in an area that often seen especially high tensions between Israeli settlers and Palestinians.

Graffiti daubed on a wall in the northern West Bank village of Yasuf reads ‘I can’t go to sleep while blood is spilt here’, December 18, 2018. (Muhammad Itiani)

The incident came as Israelis have fumed over a string of terror attacks in the West Bank, with the government stepping up efforts to demolish homes and relocate families of attackers in response.

Settlers in a number of location have lobbed rocks at Palestinian drivers in revenge attacks following last week’s deadly shootings and other attacks.

In an effort to examine ways to lower tensions, Hussein al-Sheikh, a top Palestinian Authority official, met recently with Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman and other senior Israeli security officials the Kan public broadcaster reported Monday, citing Palestinian sources.

Extremist settlers have often engaged in attacks on Palestinians — often vandalism but sometimes physical violence — ostensibly as retaliation for terror attacks or Israeli government actions deemed hostile to the settler movement.

Such attacks have seemingly increased in frequency in recent months.

Damaged windows are seen on a van in the Palestinian town of Hawara in the northern West Bank on December 13, 2018, after Israeli settlers reportedly threw rocks at it. (Courtesy of Rabbis for Human Rights)

Police last week arrested four Israeli teenagers suspected of slashing tires and drawing hate slogans on homes in the northern Arab Israeli town of Yafia, near Nazareth, a month and a half ago.

In the apparent hate crime on October 26, some 20 cars in the town had their tires punctured and were spray-painted with Jewish stars and words such as “revenge” and “price tag,” a slogan that has been used in recent years by far-right Israelis to justify their attacks on Palestinians.

Earlier this month tires on some 30 vehicles were slashed in the central Israeli Arab town of Kafr Kassem, in an apparent hate crime.

One truck was spray-painted with the slogan “Jews will not be silent.”

In a separate incident on November 30, police said they were investigating the vandalism of a building and vehicles in a Palestinian village near Bethlehem.

A car in the West Bank village of Jab’a spray-painted with the words ‘Bat Ayin evacuation – revenge’ in an apparent hate crime, November 30, 2018 (Courtesy)

Residents of the West Bank village of Jab’a, southwest of Bethlehem, said they discovered graffiti spray-painted on homes and cars in the morning, and the tires of nine vehicles had been punctured. The graffiti included Stars of David and the words “Bat Ayin evacuation — revenge.” The previous day, police had demolished an illegally constructed toilet facility near a synagogue in the nearby settlement of Bat Ayin.

Jacob Magid contributed to this report.

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