Three Palestinian cars were set alight Tuesday evening in a village outside Jerusalem and threatening graffiti was scrawled on the road in a suspected hate crime, amid continued tensions between Jews and Arabs in the capital and a series of mutual attacks.
The incident happened in Beit Iksa, which is next to Jerusalem’s Ramot neighborhood and which is separated from the rest of the West Bank by a security barrier.
Three private cars were torched, and vandals wrote, “Jews, let’s win” on the road. Under that, they wrote “Tiktok” along with a star of David, an apparent call to respond to a series of videos posted to the popular social media app that showed Palestinians attacking random ultra-Orthodox Jews without provocation. The clips have fueled Jewish anger.
Some Beit Iksa residents were quoted by the Haaretz daily as complaining that an Israeli fire truck came but didn’t put out the fire, and they had to wait for a Palestinian fire truck, which took longer to arrive.
אירוע תג מחיר בכניסה לכפר בית איכסא ליד ירושלים. שני רכבים הוצתו על הכביש נכתב: "יהודים בואו ננצח. טיקטוק".
צילום: תושבי בית איכסא ותג מאיר. pic.twitter.com/iCn8EGUW8d
— نير حسون Nir Hasson ניר חסון (@nirhasson) April 27, 2021
“The cars aren’t important, we are afraid for our families,” resident Abdullah Hamdan told Haaretz. “This time they damaged cars, next time they’ll harm people.”
Tag Meir, a Jewish group advocating for coexistence and opposes price tag attacks, linked the incident to a march last week in Jerusalem by the far-right racist group Lehava.
“Whoever stayed silent after the hate march by Lehava on Thursday is reaping the whirlwind,” said Tag Meir head Gadi Gvaryahu.
חשד לתג מחיר בכפר בית איכסא הסמוך לירושלים: מס' רכבים עולים באש ובמקום נכתב "יהודים בואו ננצח. טיקטוק"
(צילום: תג מאיר) pic.twitter.com/MICQ59fLy4
— שחר גליק (@glick_sh) April 27, 2021
After the incident, dozens of Jewish residents of Ramot gathered and chanted “May your village burn,” until police arrived and dispersed the crowd.
Earlier Tuesday, police said they arrested eight right-wing activists suspected of assaulting a cop and another person in the Jerusalem city center using tear gas.
Also Tuesday, four Jewish Israelis were attacked after entering the Palestinian West Bank town of Ni’lin to buy cigarettes. They said locals blocked their way out and hurled rocks at them, lightly injuring two of them, before they were able to escape. Police said they launched an investigation.
Tensions in the flashpoint city of Jerusalem, specifically around its Old City, have remained high even after police on Sunday night ceased their policy of preventing people from congregating outside Damascus Gate during Ramadan, a policy that Muslims said was an inflammatory move that obstructed a long-held tradition of gathering at the site during the holy month.
Thousands of Palestinians had descended on Damascus Gate each night once Ramadan began on April 13 to protest the controversial policy.