In apparent hate crime, tires slashed and wall graffitied in Jerusalem
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In apparent hate crime, tires slashed and wall graffitied in Jerusalem

Police open probe after 27 cars damaged and Hebrew slogans, ‘death to murderers’ and ‘we don’t sleep while God’s name is desecrated,’ daubed in Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood

Jacob Magid is the settlements correspondent for The Times of Israel.

A car in the East Jerusalem of Beit Hanina whose tires were slashed next to a wall that was gratified with a Jewish star the Hebrew phrases "Death to murderers" and "We don't sleep when the name of God is desecrated" on December 20, 2018. (Courtesy)
A car in the East Jerusalem of Beit Hanina whose tires were slashed next to a wall that was gratified with a Jewish star the Hebrew phrases "Death to murderers" and "We don't sleep when the name of God is desecrated" on December 20, 2018. (Courtesy)

Residents of the Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze’ev reported Thursday that the tires of 27 cars were slashed and Hebrew slogans graffitied on an adjacent wall in the latest in a sting of apparent hate crimes targeting Palestinians and Arab Israelis.

The phrases “death to murderers” and “we will not sleep while God’s name is being desecrated” were found spray-painted at the scene bordering the Arab neighborhood of Bait Hanina.

Security footage from a camera in the neighborhood appears to show a suspect wearing a hooded sweatshirt and backpack walking up to a pair of parked cars and slashing each tire one by one.

A police spokesman said an investigation had been opened into the incident and that officers were searching for the perpetrator.

The incident came after nearly two dozen cars had their tires slashed and the wall of a mosque was graffitied in the Palestinian village of Yasuf early Tuesday.

“I cannot fall asleep while blood is being spilled” was found sprayed on the wall of the mosque, and a car was daubed with the slogan “Jews, wake up.”

No arrests have been made.

Yasuf is located south of Nablus, in an area that often seen especially high tensions between Israeli settlers and Palestinians.

On Monday, residents of the Palestinian village of Turmusaya reported that neighboring settlers had chopped down roughly 100 of their olive trees. Locals from the central West Bank town near the Adei Ad outpost and new Amichai settlement said it was the fourth such attack in a week, with nearly 300 of their trees destroyed in total.

The apparent hate crimes came as Israelis have fumed over a string of terror attacks in the West Bank, with the government stepping up efforts to demolish homes and relocate families of attackers in response.

Settlers in a number of location have lobbed rocks at Palestinian drivers in revenge attacks following last week’s deadly shootings and other attacks.

In an effort to examine ways to lower tensions, Hussein al-Sheikh, a top Palestinian Authority official, met recently with Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman and other senior Israeli security officials, the Kan public broadcaster reported Monday citing Palestinian sources.

Extremist settlers have often engaged in attacks on Palestinians — often vandalism but sometimes physical violence — ostensibly as retaliation for terror attacks or Israeli government actions deemed hostile to the settler movement.

Such attacks have seemingly increased in frequency in recent months.

Police last week arrested four Israeli teenagers suspected of slashing tires and drawing hate slogans on homes in the northern Arab Israeli town of Yafia, near Nazareth, a month and a half ago.

In the apparent hate crime on October 26, some 20 cars in the town had their tires punctured and were spray-painted with Jewish stars and words such as “revenge” and “price tag,” a slogan that has been used in recent years by far-right Israelis to justify their attacks on Palestinians.

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