'Far right activist' detained over 'price-tag' attack

26-year-old West Bank resident suspected of sabotage attack on IDF base in response to Migron demolitions; sources say suspect is secular.

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September 19, 2011 17:52
1 minute read.
Graffiti on a mosque near Nablus, Monday

price tag graffiti mosque 311 R. (photo credit: REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusini)

 
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A 26-year-old man from the West Bank settlement of Eli was arrested on Monday on suspicion of being involved in a vandalism and sabotage attack on an IDF base earlier this month.

On September 7, anonymous vandals broke into the Hativat Binyamin army base in Beit El, tagging at least 10 military vehicles with the Hebrew words “price tag” and “greetings from Migron,” referring to a West Bank outpost where three houses were destroyed earlier this month.

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The vandals also punctured tires, smashed car windows and cut cables. The attack followed a spate of incidents targeting Palestinian mosques and vehicles.

During questioning, the suspect has so far denied any links to the incident.

The Israel Police has assembled a special task force made up of officers from the Serious and International Crimes Unit and Judea and Samaria police.

The team has been tasked by Insp.-Gen. Yochanan Danino to track down and indict farright activists behind the socalled “price tag” incidents.



On Sunday, Danino said he was unsatisfied with the lack of indictments against ‘price tag’ suspects, citing limitations on Judea and Samaria police district forces in the complex arena of the West Bank. He added, however, that he was optimistic that the new task force would bring about arrests.

“These acts are so dangerous and harmful on a national level. They can result in an escalation, and this is the last thing the country needs,” Danino said.

Sources close to the suspect said he was a Russian immigrant and secular. They added that he sometimes “told fibs and showed off” but “isn’t really connected to price tag.”

The sources added that the arrest was made to “please the police commissioner,” and claimed that police wiretapped the suspect’s phone before making the arrest.

Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.

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