‘Death to Arabs’ painted, Palestinian olive trees chopped down in West Bank

Apparent hate crime targets village of Tuwani in the south Hebron Hills

“Death to Arabs” spray-painted on a rock at the site of an apparent hate crime in the village of Tuwani in the southern West Bank on January 8, 2019

Jacob Magid writes in Times of Israel, “Police opened an investigation Tuesday into an apparent hate crime targeting a Palestinian village in the southern West Bank. Residents of Tuwani, in the south Hebron Hills just west of the Israeli outpost of Havat Maon, woke up Tuesday to find 15 olive trees chopped down. Nearby, two boulders were spray-painted with the Hebrew phrases “Death to Arabs” and “Revenge.” Another boulder was graffitied with a red Star of David.”

“The incident was the first suspected hate crime since the Shin Bet security service confirmed on Sunday that it had arrested five Jewish teens suspected of involvement in the murder of Aisha Rabi, 47, a Palestinian mother of eight who was traveling in a car with her husband and daughter near the northern West Bank’s Tapuah Junction late at night on October 12 when a large stone crashed through the windshield and struck her in the head.”

“Last week, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs released statistics ahead of the new year that showed a 69 percent increase in settler attacks on Palestinians in 2018 compared to 2017. OCHA recorded 265 incidents in which Israeli residents of the West Bank allegedly targeted Palestinians or their property. In total, 115 Palestinians were injured in those attacks and 7,900 trees and 540 vehicles were destroyed.”

An olive tree chopped down at the site of an apparent hate crime in the village of Tuwani

“Commenting on the numbers last week, a defense official confirmed that the past year saw a significant rise in so-called “price tag” attacks — a name used by far-right Israelis to justify targeting Palestinians and even IDF soldiers. The phrase marks the attacks as ostensible retaliation for terror attacks and Israeli government actions deemed hostile to the settler movement. “The hilltop youth are less deterred than before and are feeling emboldened,” the defense official said, speaking on condition of anonymity and referring to the far-right activists who are known for establishing illegal outposts on hilltops throughout the West Bank.” (more…)


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