Unidentified assailants tried to torch two cars in Awarta southeast of Nablus
late Tuesday night, but ran away before they were able to.
for the Judea and Samaria police district, Ch.- Insp. Dudi Asraf, said police
have opened an investigation, which has been hampered because they were only
given security clearance to enter the village a few hours later.
said there hasn’t been an added deployment of police in the field following the
string of suspected “price-tag” attacks since last Thursday, though he said that
the damage caused in the recent incidents is more extensive than
At 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Iyad Qawareq woke up to the sound of a
closing car door outside his house in Awarta.
The 31-year-old told The
Jerusalem Post that he saw “two settlers wearing kippot” pouring fuel on his
family’s two cars parked outside their three-story house. He added the men had
also sprayed graffiti on the gate of their storage garage before he could notice
Iyad’s mother, Umm Jamal, told the Post she was asleep when she
heard her son shouting.
“He shouted, ‘Stop, you... stop.’ We
looked from our window and saw the attackers escaping in their yellow [Israeli
license] plated, white car speeding toward the direction of the neighboring
The men ran away before they were able to ignite the
Iyad says two of the men sprayed the graffiti and poured the fuel
while one stayed in the driver’s seat of the car, adding that none of them wore
Loui Qawareq, Iyad’s brother, said the family went down toward
the cars and poured water on them to remove the fuel.
Shortly after, they
called the Palestinian liaison office, said Iyad, which told them to contact the
Israeli civil administration.
He recounted the story of the attempted
arson while other family members stayed downstairs guarding their
Umm Jamal has six sons – five of whom are married – who live in the
family’s Awarta home.
This was the first attack the family has witnessed
even though their house is located at the eastern entrance of the
“We see people – whom we think are settlers – come up to the
town singing or speeding with their cars to disturb us.”
The IDF phoned
the family several times after the attack to check on the security condition and
showed up at their home at 7:30 that morning.
Iyad added that the IDF,
police and Israeli intelligence members took their testimonies, checked for
fingerprints and collected evidence including two cans filled with
Loui, who works for a private security company, said the Israeli
policemen refused to leave the scene before the family removed the Hebrew
remarks sprayed on the home’s garage.
Most of the children remained
asleep after the attack.
In the morning they wondered about the police
“We told them that settlers came in and tried to burn our cars,
but thanks to God who loves us, our cars are safe and we didn’t lose anything,”
Umm Jamal said.
Loui bought black paint and erased the Hebrew graffiti
without being able to understand it.
“We asked the Israeli policemen to
translate for us but they said what was written was not important.” He described
the writings, saying it had a drawing of what he thinks is a man and also two
sentences beneath it that he couldn’t understand. “I don’t really know what they
wrote but from the drawing I saw, I suspect it has to do with attacking our
religion,” he added.
Loui told the Post he believes settlers were behind
the attempted torching.
“We all saw them when we woke up, they wore
kippot and had the braided hair on the sides of their heads,” he said.
explained that the family will stay cautious and will stay up at night guarding
Loui said the family gathered and discussed building a wall
around their house following the attack.
“You never know, they might want
to seek revenge after we didn’t allow them to burn our cars,” he said.
Tuesday, assailants torched the gate of a house in the village of Fara’ata, west
of Nablus. Palestinians believe settlers from the neighboring outpost of Havat
Gilad were behind the attempted arson.
The family was able to extinguish
the fire and prevent it from spreading.