Price tag attack on Jaffa restaurant.
(photo credit: Sami Abu Shehade Office)
A 21-year-old man who has already been indicted for various “price-tag” attacks,
including several against activists and employees of Peace Now, was arrested
again on Sunday night in connection with death threats he sent via e-mail to
members of the organization yesterday.
The man in question, whose
identity cannot be published due to a gag order, was arrested two weeks ago in
connection with a bomb threat and an act of vandalism perpetrated against the
Peace Now offices in Jerusalem. There have been a rash of price-tag attacks –
which vandalize Arab mosques, IDF bases or leftwing sites in retaliation for the
dismantling of settlements – in recent months.
The man admitted to the
offenses during questioning, saying that he “hates Arabs and leftists.” On
Sunday, between 3 and 4 p.m., he sent e-mails to numerous Peace Now activists
including director Yariv Oppenheimer and Hagit Ofran, the director of the
organization’s Settlement Watch program.
To Oppenheimer he wrote, “Today
you die.” To Ofran he sent the message “The end is near, I will kill you and all
who are close to you.” The e-mails included the man’s name and e-mail
Speaking with The Jerusalem Post
on Monday, Ofran said that the
incident “is part of a wider phenomenon within the current political atmosphere
and public discourse.”
“The Knesset and the government, through
legislation and public statements, are trying to silence criticism, the left,
and the media,” she said. “The message being broadcast is that those opposing
the government are not legitimate and this is inspiring these graffiti attacks
and death threats.”
As to whether or not the man in question may be
mentally ill, Ofran said that she was not in a position to comment, but said
that if so he could be dangerous, adding that she trusts that the police knows
how to deal with such persons.
On Sunday, American leftwing activist and
blogger Richard Silverstein, who obtained one of the e-mails sent to Peace Now, published the suspect’s name and one of the
threatening e-mails on his Tikun Olam blog.
published the names of the man’s parents and their occupations, and threatened
to publish their home address and telephone number if he continues to carry out
In September the price-tag suspect phoned Oppenheimer and
threatened him, telling him he would “put a bullet in your head.” He also left a
beeper message to the same effect.
In October he produced 20 posters with
the words “Price tag – to kill, to murder and to slaughter all the Arabs,” and
“Death to Arabs,” and hung 20 of them around Mevaseret Zion.
brought in for questioning by the police on October 31, released, and ordered to
remain in his house until November 4. On November 3, he breached the police
order and sprayed graffiti on the Peace Now offices in Jerusalem’s German
Colony, painting “Death to Arabs” and other slogans in the east Jerusalem
neighborhood of Beit Hanina.
Subsequently, on November 6, the suspect
again sprayed graffiti on the Peace Now offices and called in a bomb threat that
was ultimately proven to be false.
The suspect was indicted on November
17 by the Jerusalem District Attorney’s office on four separate charges,
including two counts of issuing threats, one of harassment, two counts of
publishing material to incite racial hatred, two counts of damage to private
property and one of breaching police orders.