"Price tag" graffiti in Beit Ummar 370.
(photo credit: Manal Jabari/ B'Tselem)
Police said five vehicles parked on one of the main streets in the neighborhood
of Gilo in east Jerusalem, were vandalized in a “price tag” attack early
Thursday morning, allegedly by Jewish extremists.
Price-tag attacks are
defined as acts of violence and vandalism against Palestinians and Israeli
security forces by radical Israeli settlers to exact a “price” from both parties
for any actions believed to be taken against their settlements.
to Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, the tires of all five vehicles, parked on
Shahar Street, were slashed late in the night and one of the cars was
spraypainted with the words “price tag.” Rosenfeld said three of the vehicles
are owned by Arabs and two are owned by Jews. The car with graffiti was taken to
police headquarters to be examined by a forensics team.
He added that no
arrests have been made yet, but that a formal investigation has been opened into
Thursday’s vandalism is the latest in an escalating pattern
of similar attacks.
Indeed, Army Radio on Thursday reported a sharp
increase in cases of harassment by Jews against Arabs, citing 180 incidents
In 2012, the number of incidents totaled 200.
week, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Public Security Minister Yitzhak
Aharonovitch and Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein held a meeting to discuss the
growing problem, along with representatives from the IDF, the Shin Bet (Israel
Security Agency) and the State Attorney’s Office.
In a statement issued
by Livni and Aharonovitch’s offices, the ministries said Aharonovitch, Livni and
Weinstein “see eye to eye on the need for more serious steps to be taken
[against perpetrators] of such attacks.”
They added that they “see the
severity of price-tag attacks seeping into Israel, and the danger inherent in
damaging relations with Arab- Israelis.”
Participants at the meeting
discussed harsher steps to deter such incidents, including legally defining
“price-tag” incidents as acts of terror, according to sources.
past, Weinstein had opposed such a legal definition, but according to sources,
he is weighing shifting that opinion, given that the legal deterrents currently
available to police have not been sufficient to halt these crimes.