Police on Monday opened an investigation into an apparent hate crime targeting a Palestinian village in the central West Bank, where 12 cars were found with their tires slashed and Hebrew hate slogans were spray-painted on walls.
“We give them jobs and they rape” read one phrase daubed on a wall on the outskirts of Sinjil, in an apparent reference to the alleged rape of a 7-year-old Israeli girl by a Palestinian man from nearby Dir Kadis. Police are currently considering dropping charges against the suspect, Mahmoud Qadusa, due to lack of evidence.
Other phrases daubed included “a village of terrorists” and “here lives a village of terrorists who throw stones.”
Monday incident was the fifth apparent hate crime in June, but police have yet to apprehend any suspects. The previous attacks targeted Deir Istiya, Kafr Malik, Einabus and Yasuf — villages in the central and northern West Bank.
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 have sometimes included 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.