Palestinian village targeted in third apparent hate crime in a week
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Palestinian village targeted in third apparent hate crime in a week

Hebrew phrases including ‘village of terrorists’ found daubed in West Bank village of Deir Istiya; cars found with tires slashed

Wall sprayed with the phrase 'village of terrorists' in apparent hate crime in West Bank village of Deir Istiya, June 18, 2019 (B'Tselem)
Wall sprayed with the phrase 'village of terrorists' in apparent hate crime in West Bank village of Deir Istiya, June 18, 2019 (B'Tselem)

Police on Tuesday opened an investigation after it was reported that for the third time in a week, a Palestinian village in the West Bank was targeted in an apparent hate crime.

Tires were slashed and Hebrew inscriptions including “village of terrorists,” “stones = murder” and “enough of stone throwing” were graffitied in the village of Deir Istiya about 30 kilometers (18 miles) east of Tel Aviv, police said.

On Monday police opened an investigation into a similar attack in the village of Kfar Malik near Ramallah where the tires of 13 vehicles were slashed and similar Hebrew slogans were spray painted. On June 13 in the northern West Bank village of Einabus four cars were vandalized and Hebrew language slogans were painted on a mosque and adjacent buildings.

Despite the dozens of hate crimes targeting Palestinians and their property in recent months and years, arrests of perpetrators have been exceedingly rare. Rights groups lament that convictions are even more unusual, with the majority of charges in such cases being dropped.

The attacks, often referred to as price tag attacks, are usually limited to arson and graffiti but sometimes including physical assaults and even murder.

In December, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs released a report that showed a 69 percent increase in settler attacks on Palestinians in 2018 compared to 2017.

Separately, on Sunday, Israelis in the northern West Bank settlement of Yitzhar accused neighboring Palestinians of setting fire to several fields belonging to their residents. Firefighting air-tankers were required to put out the the blazes in the second such incident in three days. A police spokeswoman said they were aware of the fires but that no evidence had been collected suggesting that they had been arson attacks.

Jacob Magid contributed to this report.

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