Israel Police opened an investigation into a suspected arson incident after four vehicles were set on fire in the Arab-Israeli local council of Abu Ghosh, west of Jerusalem in central Israel.
A threatening inscription was also sprayed on a wall near the suspected crime scene, leading investigators to tentatively classify the incident as a hate crime committed by Jewish Israelis and directed toward Arab-Israelis.
While police collected evidence from the scene, searches were conducted for the suspects with helicopter assistance from the Israel Police's aerial unit. The investigation is ongoing.
Graffiti warns of 'price tag' attacks, administrative detentions
The nearby graffiti read "price tag," followed by the phrase "30 days of administrative detention for murder." The term "price tag" is commonly linked to attacks carried out by extremist settler groups against Arabs and Palestinians, often seen as retaliatory measures in response to terror attacks or actions taken by the Israeli government regarding unauthorized settlement activities.
The term "administrative detention" references an Israeli police practice of holding suspects without charge, suggesting that an individual plans to commit a future offense. This is an order which has been issued in the past to hold various Arab-Israelis and Palestinians for prolonged periods of time.
This vandalism and attack in Abu Ghosh have appeared amid a rapid increase in settler violence since a Palestinian terror attack where four Israelis were killed and another four were wounded in a shooting attack by two Hamas terrorists at a gas station outside of the West Bank settlement of Eli last month.
From June 20 through June 25, Israeli extremists perpetrated 28 violent attacks against Palestinian villages across the northern and central West Bank. In total, one Palestinian was killed and 54 others were injured, while four Israeli citizens and one security officer were injured.
Planned gathering in solidarity
Anti-extremist organization Tag Meir has initiated a solidarity gathering to take place on Monday evening. The group stated, "Last night, cars were set on fire, and graffiti in Hebrew was sprayed on building walls in Abu Ghosh. The police are investigating the incident on suspicion of a hate crime by Jews against Arabs.
"The solidarity gathering will take place at 20:00 at Matnas Abu Ghosh, 33 HaShalom Street," Tag Meir announced.
Eliav Breuer and Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.