Tires slashed, West Bank village threatened with ‘war’ in apparent hate attack

Graffiti in Yasuf warns of ‘war over Judea and Samaria’; police open investigation but make no arrests; PA governor calls for ‘protection committees’

Adam Rasgon is the Palestinian affairs reporter at The Times of Israel

Image shows a car in Yasuf on February 26, 2020 after its tires were slashed. (Credit: Yasuf Village Council)
Image shows a car in Yasuf on February 26, 2020 after its tires were slashed. (Credit: Yasuf Village Council)

Several vehicles in the West Bank village of Yasuf were damaged by vandals in the overnight hours between Tuesday and Wednesday in an apparent hate crime.

In total, tires on 13 cars were slashed in Yasuf, according to Yesh Din, an Israeli rights groups. The village is located adjacent to the Tapuah Junction in the northern West Bank and near a handful of settlements known as extremist hotbeds.

Graffiti was also spray-painted on the walls of two structures in Yasuf, pictures shared by Yesh Din showed.

“There will be a war over Judea and Samaria,” referring to biblical names for the West Bank, was found written in Hebrew on one wall, while a Star of David was seen on the other.

Shlomit Bakshi, a spokesman for the Israel Police in the West Bank, said that police opened an investigation into the incident and have already entered the village to collect evidence.

Image shows graffiti that was spray painted on a structure in the West Bank village of Yasuf on February 26, 2020. It reads: “There will be a war over Judea and Samaria.” (Credit: Yasuf Village Council)

No suspects were identified or arrested, she said.

Despite dozens of hate crimes targeting Palestinians and their property over the past year, arrests of suspects have been exceedingly rare.

The attacks, often referred to as price tag attacks, are usually limited to arson and graffiti but sometimes include physical assaults and even murder.

In June, a dozen Israeli youths were caught on security cameras hurling rocks at homes and parked vehicles.

In a statement Wednesday, Palestinian Authority Salfit Governor Abdullah Kamil blamed settlers for slashing the tires and graffitiing the walls.

He also called for “the activation of protection committees” in all villages in the area to safeguard Palestinians from “the settlers’ fascist crimes.”

Yasuf is one of a number of villages located in what the PA has defined as the Salfit Governorate.

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