Price-tag militant rearrested for making death threats

Man wrote hate e-mails to numerous Peace Now activists including director Yariv Oppenheimer.

Price tag attack on Jaffa restaurant (photo credit: Sami Abu Shehade Office)
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 address.
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.
Silverstein also 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 attacks.
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.
He was 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.