Settler extremists suspected of vandalizing cars in Palestinian city

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Several vehicles were found vandalized in the Palestinian city of Salfit early Monday morning, due to a suspected hate crime, a rights group said.

According to Yesh Din, a left-wing group that documents settler violence in the West Bank, at least 25 cars had their tires slashed.

Images published by the group also showed graffiti sprayed on some of the vehicles and on the wall of a building.

A Hebrew motto read in graffiti on the wall: “Price tag.”

Surveillance footage released by Yesh Din showed masked and hooded youths, suspected to be settler extremists, punching the tires before dawn on Monday.

The police were expected to investigate the incident.

Salfit is located south of the settlement of Ariel, in the central West Bank.

Vandalism against Palestine by Jewish extremists in the West Bank is frequent.

Incidents of vandalism against Palestinians and Israeli security forces are commonly referred to as “price tag” attacks, with perpetrators calling them retaliation for Palestinian violence or government policies deemed hostile to the settler movement.

Convicts are rarely caught and rights groups lament that convictions are even more unusual, with most charges in such cases being dropped.

The scene where graffiti was done on Palestinian-owned cars and on the wall of a house in a suspected settler hate crime case in the West Bank city of Salfit, March 20, 2023. (Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90)

Reports of nationalist crimes against Palestinians in the West Bank have risen in recent weeks, following several terrorist attacks.

The alleged vandalism on Monday came a day after a Palestinian gunman shot and seriously wounded an Israeli man in the nearby town of Huwara, south of Nablus.

The shooting attack came just three weeks after two Israeli brothers were shot dead in a terror attack while driving through Huwara.

After that fatal attack, the settlers rioted in the town, setting houses and cars on fire. One Palestinian shot dead in unclear circumstances.

A top military general referred to the unprecedented riot as a “pogrom.”

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