Palestinian village targeted with vandalism, graffiti in apparent hate crime

Photos show cars with their tires slashed and Hebrew slogans daubed on walls of mosque and other buildings in Einabus, just south of flashpoint settlement of Yitzhar

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

"Yitzhar evacuation" and "price tag" spray-painted on a home in Einabus in the northern West Bank on June 13, 2019. (Einabus municipality)
"Yitzhar evacuation" and "price tag" spray-painted on a home in Einabus in the northern West Bank on June 13, 2019. (Einabus municipality)

Police on Thursday opened an investigation into an apparent hate crime attack targeting a northern West Bank Palestinian village where the tires of several vehicles were slashed and Hebrew slogans were found graffitied on the town’s mosque as well as adjacent buildings.

Photos released by the Yesh Din rights group documented one of the four cars vandalized in the attack in the village of Einabus as well as several of the Hebrew spray-painted slogans.

One of the phrases daubed was “Price tag [for the] Yitzhar evacuation.” Last week, security forces demolished several illegal buildings near the flashpoint settlement just north of Einabus.

The apparent hate crime came just over a week after a similar but more violent incident in the nearby Palestinian village of Yasuf where a dozen Israeli youths were caught on security cameras hurling rocks at homes and parked vehicles.

Police opened a probe into that incident, saying that several cars and homes were damaged in the attack at the village, which is adjacent to the Kfar Tapuah settlement. While most such attacks in recent months and years have taken place overnight, that incident unfolded in broad daylight.

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.

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