Palestinian vehicles vandalized in West Bank hate crime
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Palestinian vehicles vandalized in West Bank hate crime

Tires slashed, Hebrew slogans and Stars of David daubed on cars and minibuses in the village of Marda

A vehicle found vandalized with graffiti in the northern West Bank village of Madra, October 22, 2018. Hebrew slogan reads 'We will not sleep while our brothers are murdered.' (Israel Police)
A vehicle found vandalized with graffiti in the northern West Bank village of Madra, October 22, 2018. Hebrew slogan reads 'We will not sleep while our brothers are murdered.' (Israel Police)

Palestinians in the northern West Bank village of Marda reported Monday that several vehicles parked in the community had been vandalized in an apparent hate crime.

Residents of the village, which is located near the Israeli settlement of Ariel, found tires had been slashed on several vehicles, some of which were daubed with Hebrew slogans and Stars of David.

Security cameras recorded the perpetrators as they roamed the village causing damage, and police opened an investigation.

The slogans included the phrases “We will not sleep while our brothers are murdered” and “Regards to Yitzhak Gabai,” a Jewish right-wing extremist and former convict who was sentenced to three years in prison for torching a Jewish-Arab school in Jerusalem in 2014.

Gabai’s name has been invoked in previous incidents of hate crimes against Palestinians.

The damage discovered Monday was part of a recent wave of violence and vandalism in the West Bank.

Last Wednesday 22 cars were damaged in the central West Bank village of Asira al-Qabaliya. Photos from the village show a number of cars with their tires slashed and others daubed with stars of David as well as Hebrew slogans including “Death to murderers” and “Jews wake up.”

Days earlier Palestinian farmers from four villages across the West Bank arrived at their fields to find dozens of olive trees damaged and stolen.

The Yesh Din rights group said at the time that the targeted farms’ proximity to Israeli outposts, whose residents have been prone to confrontation with Palestinians, suggests that the incidents could be anti-Arab hate crimes.

There were similar acts of vandalism earlier in the month.

A car belonging to a Palestinian couple is seen after it was involved in a deadly crash reportedly due to stone-throwing by Israeli settlers at the Tapuah Junction in the northern West Bank on October 12, 2018. (Zachariah Sadeh/Rabbis for Human Rights); Aisha Muhammad Talal Rabi (Courtesy)

On October 12, Palestinian mother Aisha Muhammad Talal Rabi was killed after being hit in the head by a large rock while driving in the northern West Bank. Her husband, who was in the car with her at the time, told Reuters that he heard the perpetrators speaking Hebrew before they fled the scene.

A spokesman for the Shin Bet confirmed that the security agency opened a probe into the incident, suggesting that it was indeed suspected of being an act of terror carried out by area settlers. The nationalistic crime unit of the police’s Judea and Samaria (West Bank) District is also probing the death, which has been placed under a gag order, although authorities have not ruled out the possibility that a group of Palestinians stone-throwers mistook the Palestinian vehicle for an Israeli one.

Days earlier on October 7, two Israelis were killed by a Palestinian coworker in a terror shooting at the Barkan Industrial Park, and an IDF reservist was moderately hurt in a stabbing attack outside an army base four days later. The Barkan shooter has yet to be apprehended.

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