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Suspected settler attack vandalises dozens of cars and properties in Palestinian village

Graffiti in Yasuf said: "Over Judea and Samaria will be a war" [Twitter]

Date of publication: 26 February, 2020

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Dozens of cars and buildings in a West Bank village near Nablus were found damaged and daubed with racist anti-Palestinian graffiti, in a suspected attack by Israelis from nearby settlements.
Israeli police said they were investigating on Wednesday after vandals damaged cars and daubed racist graffiti in a Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank, in a suspected "price tag" attack.

Tyres were slashed of more than a dozen cars and graffiti in Hebrew was daubed on walls in Yasuf, near the town of Nablus.

Among the slogans was the phrase "there will be a war over Judea and Samaria", a name some Israelis use for the West Bank.

Khaled Abeya, head of the village council, said the perpetrators had entered the area before dawn.

"They slashed 14 cars and wrote a number of very serious slogans," he said.

Abeya said the village was close to a number of Israeli settlements and he suspected Jewish settlers were responsible. "No one saw them," however.

The area surrounding the northern West Bank city of Nablus has one of the highest concentrations of Israeli settlements and has often been a flashpoint for violence and settler attacks on Palestinians.

Israeli police said they would investigate the incident in which "damage was caused to a number of vehicles and graffiti was found on a building".

The attack bore the hallmarks of a "price tag" attack, a euphemism for Jewish nationalist-motivated hate crimes that generally target Palestinian property in revenge for nationalistic attacks against Israelis.

Jewish extremists have launched a string of such attacks in this year alone, including the torching of a Palestinian school in the West Bank and a mosque in East Jerusalem days later. Both buildings were  also covered in anti-Palestinian graffiti.

In December, more than 160 cars were vandalised in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Shuafat in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem with anti-Arab slogans scrawled nearby.

Israeli human rights group B'Tselem said settler violence "has long since become part of Palestinians' daily life under occupation."

"Israeli security forces enable these actions, which result in Palestinian casualties – injuries and fatalities – as well as damage to land and property. In some cases, they even serve as an armed escort, or even join in the attacks," it added.

"Investigations, if even opened, are usually closed with no action taken against perpetrators as part of an undeclared policy of leniency. The long-term effect of this violence is the dispossession of Palestinians from increasing parts of the West Bank, making it easier for Israel to take over land and resources."

Agencies contributed to this report.

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