Vandals, assumed to be Jewish extremists, torched three cars in the West Bank Palestinian village of Dura al-Kara early Tuesday morning and spray-painted the words “regards to John Kerry” as they warned of impending bloodshed in Judea and Samaria.
This latest “price-tag” act was perpetuated just hours after Israel released 26 Palestinian prisoners convicted of past terror attacks and one day before US Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to fly to Jerusalem to advance the peace process.
“Blood will be spilled for Judea and Samaria and a lot of it,” scrawled the vandals on the stone wall of a Palestinian home. They repeated the message with the words: “There will be a war in Judea and Samaria.”
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said an investigation had been opened in to the attack he described as a “criminal incident with nationalistic motives.”
“Evidence was taken from the scene,” he said, adding that “we are searching for suspects.”
According to B’Tselem, The Israel Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, the attack occurred in an area of the village that is close to the Beit El settlement just outside of Ramallah.
There have been five past attacks against this same cluster of homes between March 2011 and September 2013, B’Tselem said. In three of the incidents, cars were torched and in a fourth incident, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at one of the homes, the NGO said.
No one has ever been caught in connection with these attacks, it continued.
In two of the incidents the investigation was closed, and in two of the incidents the Palestinians did not turn to the police. In the fifth incident no investigation was even opened, B’Tselem said.
Meretz Party head Zehava Gal-On on Tuesday called on Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein to instruct the government to classify price-tag perpetrators as a “terrorist organization.”
In June the security cabinet declared price-tag perpetrators to be an “illegal association” and strengthened the ability of law enforcement to act against them. But it failed to legally declare the attacks as terrorism.
“Last night’s activity is additional proof that such attacks are escalating and that there is an urgent need to classify them as terrorist activity and to act to stop them,” Gal-On said.
Price-tag attacks meet the definition of terror activity and they can’t remain under the classification of an “illegal association,” she said. Stringent measures must be taken, she added.