‘Expel or kill’: dozens of cars vandalized in an Israeli Arab city

Dozens of cars had their tires flat and several vehicles were spotted on a hate crime suspect in the central city of Kafr Qasim during Wednesday night.

One of the vehicles in the Arab city was sprayed with the slogan “expel or kill” while another was painted with a star of David.

Police said they opened an investigation into the attack.

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Anti-Arab vandalism by Jewish extremists has become a common occurrence in the West Bank, but it is more rare in Israel.

Star of David graffiti on a vehicle that had its tires flat at Kfar Qasim, March 25, 2020 (Israeli Police)

Incidents of vandalism and attacks against Palestinians and Israeli security forces in the West Bank are commonly called “price tag” attacks, with perpetrators claiming they are retaliation for Palestinian violence or government policies viewed as hostile to the settler movement.

Arrests of perpetrators have been extremely rare and human rights groups regret that the convictions are even more unusual, with most charges in such cases being dropped.

Religious Zionist party president Bezalel Smotrich (L) and Itamar Ben Gvir celebrate at the party headquarters in Modi’in on election night, March 23, 2021. (Sraya Diamant / Flash90)

Many of these Jewish terrorism suspects were represented by Itamar Ben Gvir, the far-right politician elected to the Knesset in Tuesday’s election.

In response to the night attack, Meretz party chief Nitzan Horowitz drew a direct connection between vandalism and the election of Ben Gvir’s party with the help of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who worked urgently to form a merger that would guarantee overcoming the electoral threshold and helped the prime minister to form a coalition.

“Dozens of vehicles were spray painted and punctured. For what? Why? Blind hatred, sick racism. And those who support him are the favored partners of the corrupt, ”said Horowitz, referring to Netanyahu, who is on trial for alleged corruption.

Settler violence against the Palestinians has increased in recent months after the death of 16-year-old settler Ahuvia Sandak in December, during a police persecution. Sandak’s car collided after he and several others allegedly threw stones at the Palestinians.

Meretz chief, Nitzan Horowitz, center, at a press conference in Tel Aviv on March 23, 2021. (Flash90)

On Sunday, a 17-year-old boy in Jerusalem was charged with manslaughter for allegedly attacking an Arab minibus driver who, while trying to escape, attacked and killed a protester.

The suspect was accused of throwing stones at the minibus driven by Ibrahim Hamed and opening the vehicle door while others shouted “Arab, Arab” and “we will kill him”. While trying to escape the attack, Hamed launched his vehicle at Itamar Ben Abu, 47, killing him.

Last Friday, a Palestinian village near Jerusalem was vandalized in an alleged hate crime attack.

Residents of Beit Iksa found two damaged vehicles and a Hebrew slogan graffiti on a nearby wall. The graffiti on the wall read “Greetings from Ahuvia”, with a star of David beside it.

Earlier this month, a group of about 10 masked people, allegedly settlers, beat and threw stones at a Palestinian family in the West Bank in an attack that the family recorded on video.

A member of the Alyan family after an attack allegedly by masked settlers, south of the West Bank city of Hebron, March 13, 2021 (B’Tselem)

In February, a 17-year-old Israeli settler was indicted for attacks on Palestinian homes and properties. The defendant threw a shock grenade at two houses while families slept inside, police said.

Along with seven other people involved, the defendant also reportedly threw stones at four houses and vehicles, causing damage. As a result of the attack, a 61-year-old Palestinian man was injured in the forehead because of broken glass, while his 17-year-old daughter suffered a serious attack of anxiety, dizziness and confusion.

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