Police open probe after Israeli extremists filmed vandalizing West Bank village

Footage shows nearly a dozen youth gathering at edge of Yasuf, near Kfar Tapuah settlement, and throwing stones at cars in broad daylight

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

بالفيديو .... لحظة اعتداء قطيع المستوطنين على منزل المواطن (ابراهيم عبد اللطيف عبيه) في بلدة ياسوف شرق مدينة سلفيت صباح اليوم.

Posted by Raya FM on Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Police on Wednesday opened an investigation into an apparent hate crime attack, after a dozen Israeli youths were caught on security cameras in the northern West Bank Palestinian village of Yasuf hurling rocks at homes and parked vehicles.

Police said that several cars and homes were damaged in the attack at the village, which is adjacent to the Kfar Tapuah settlement.

CCTV footage showed the masked activists, some wearing tzitzit (ritual fringes), walking up to a car on the edge of Yasuf, puncturing its tires and hurling dozens of stones at it and at various other targets in the area

Police said they had collected the security footage and were working to apprehend those responsible.

While most such attacks in recent months and years have taken place overnight, the latest incident unfolded in broad daylight Wednesday morning.

A car targeted in a price tag attack in the northern West Bank Palestinian village of Yasuf on June 5, 2019. (Israel Police)

Last week, police announced that they had arrested two Israelis suspected of vandalizing Palestinian property in hate attacks. The suspects — one a resident of Jerusalem and another from the northern West Bank settlement of Yitzhar — were given conditional release by a Rishon Lezion magistrate.

Despite the dozens of hate crimes targeting Palestinians and their property in recent months and years, arrests of perpetrators have been exceedingly rare, with the last reported one having been in December.

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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