Price tag attacks are acts of terror, declared Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon as
he lashed out at hate crimes against Palestinians, hours after two cars were
torched in a West Bank village, and a day after a group of Jews were trapped
allegedly en route to vandalize another village.
phenomenon called ‘price tag’ attack is, in my eyes, a terrorist act in every
sense of the word. We are acting and will act against its perpetrators with zero
tolerance, and with a stern and determined hand to eradicate it,” said
On Wednesday morning a Palestinian restaurant owner in the
village of Madama near Nablus, was startled to find a number of Jewish vandals,
who he described as settlers, outside his business, according to the
nongovernmental Israeli group Rabbis for Human Rights.
He discerned that
two cars had been torched and that there was graffiti on the wall in yellow
paint that said, “revenge for Esh Kodesh” and a Jewish star.
referenced the Esh Kodesh outpost where the IDF, on Tuesday morning, had
destroyed 200 olive trees that had been planted without authorization.
unsuccessfully tried to stop the vandals from fleeing in their car, he reported,
adding that they tried to run him over.
The interaction between them, he
told Rabbis for Human Rights, happened very quickly and he was not able to write
down the license plate.
On Tuesday, following the demolition of two of
Esh Kodesh’s olive groves, violence broke out between settlers and Palestinians
near the Palestinian villages of Jalud and Kusra.
Security forces saw a
group of 14 settlers heading to Kusra, and then received a report from
Palestinians that the group was trapped in the village.
surrounded the group and beaten them.
Village elders, however, prevented
the group from being lynched and protected them until the IDF rescued
The IDF and the Palestinians assume that the group intended to
execute a price tag attack against the village.
Settlers contended that
the group was hiking in the area, when confronted by Palestinians who forcibly
brought them to a construction site on the outskirts of the village.
spokesman for Esh Kodesh said that no one in the outpost was involved in the
In response, Ya’alon said on Wednesday that Israel cannot
allow a situation that morally and legally unacceptable actions spring from,
adding that the extremists tar Israel and cause serious harm to the mainstream
settlement community, whose members are loyal, law abiding
“There’s no connection between these law breakers and the
settlements and their decent residents,” Ya’alon said.
“We will not allow
marginal, extreme and violent groups to forcefully and illegally take control of
properties that are not theirs, to threaten Palestinian residents who work their
lands, [to perform] thuggish behavior on the ground, in a way that endangers
public peace and that could spark a conflagration,” Ya’alon said.
vowed to activate “all available means” to deal with the far-right elements
behind the incidents.
The former head of the Jewish Communities of Judea
and Samaria Dani Dayan minced no words when he said that such attacks were a
“moral calamity and practical idiocy, because they cause only damage and tarnish
“Yesterday’s incident finished without real harm, but it could
have disastrous consequences. People that think that they will win our
cause with a box of matches will end up setting the place on fire,” Dayan
Avi Ro’eh, Dayan’s successor and current head of the Jewish
Communities of Jedea and Samaria, had a more measured response. “It’s not our
policy and it’s not our way,” he said.
“It doesn’t help the settlements,
it harms them.”
Outside the framework of price tag attacks, violence
broke out between settlers and Palestinians in other areas of the West
A clash erupted between three settlers and eight Palestinians,
after a settler threatened one of the Palestinians of the Mitzpe Ya’air outpost
in the South Hebron hills, security forces said.
Border Police and police
arrived on the scene and restored order. The settler has been taken in for
An Israeli woman, driving east of Kalkilya, was injured from
rocks thrown at her vehicle on Wednesday morning.