Suspected ‘price tag’ attack near Bethlehem

‘Revenge for Adele Bitton’ and ‘Adele sends her regards’ reportedly spray-painted on mosque entrance in Palestinian village of Tuqu’

Graffiti on a West Bank mosque reading 'price tag' in Hebrew (Illustrative photo: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)
Graffiti on a West Bank mosque reading 'price tag' in Hebrew (Illustrative photo: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

Graffiti was discovered Sunday morning at the entrance to a mosque in the village of Tuqu’, just south of Bethlehem. The words “price tag,” “revenge for Adele Bitton” and “Adele sends her regards,” were all spray-painted on the mosque.

Adele Bitton, 3, was critically injured after stones thrown by Palestinians caused the car her mother was driving to collide with a truck near the West Bank town of Ariel on March 14. Bitton, her mother Adva, and her two sisters, residents of the nearby settlement of Yakir, were injured in the crash along with the truck driver and one other person. The toddler remains in hospital in critical condition.

Eyewitnesses said the accident, which injured six people, occurred after Adva lost control of her car because of rocks thrown at her.

“This is a terror attack like any other,” a senior IDF source told Channel 10 News the night of the incident. “The rocks were thrown by Palestinians from one of the nearby villages. We have seen a 50 percent upsurge in rock-throwing incidents since the announcement of [US President Barack] Obama’s visit to the country,” the source added.

According to a police report released last month, 56 price tag attacks against Palestinians occurred in Jerusalem and the surrounding area over the past year, marking a 100 percent increase compared to 2011.

Price tag is a term used by right-wing Jewish extremists to describe revenge attacks carried out against the Palestinian population as “punishment” for Israeli government decisions they perceive as being oriented against settlers.

According to the report, suspects were only detained in relation to 12 of the incidents. A police spokesman said any attack with nationalistic motives was counted as a price tag attack.

In January, police set up a special task force to deal with such attacks.

Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have repeatedly condemned price tag acts, demanding that those responsible be brought to justice.

Adiv Sterman contributed to this report.

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