Vehicles smashed in apparent hate crime targeting Palestinian town
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Vehicles smashed in apparent hate crime targeting Palestinian town

Security cameras catch a handful of masked, hooded individuals entering Hawara, where settlers and Palestinians clashed last week

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

A vehicle vandalized in an apparent hate crime in the northern West Bank Palestinian village of Hawara on March 15, 2020. (Yesh Din)
A vehicle vandalized in an apparent hate crime in the northern West Bank Palestinian village of Hawara on March 15, 2020. (Yesh Din)

Police on Sunday opened an investigation into an apparent hate crime in the northern West Bank Palestinian village of Hawara, where a group of masked, hooded suspects were filmed entering a parking lot and vandalizing at least 15 vehicles.

Security cameras caught the suspects slowly walking into the lot just after midnight on Sunday, then hurling stones, smashing windows with crossbars and slashing tires.

The Yesh Din rights group said in a statement that witnesses heard the suspects firing in the air while destroying the vehicles.

Hawara was the scene of a clash between settlers and Palestinians last week, during which an Israeli teen suffered a serious head injury and a Palestinian teen was moderately injured. Police opened an investigation into the incident but no arrests have been made.

Sunday’s incident came less than three weeks after another apparent hate crime that targeted the nearby village of Yasuf. 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.

Police opened an investigation into the Yasuf incident, but arrests have yet to be made.

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)

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.

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