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Israeli settlers slash tires of Palestinian cars, spray racist graffiti on buildings in occupied territories

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Hateful graffiti in Hebrew reading 'Arabs are enemies -- expel or kill,' is spray-painted on the wall of a building in Manshiya Zabda, northern part of the Israeli occupied territories on December 12, 2019. (Photo by Haaretz daily newspaper)

Scores of extremist Jewish settlers have vandalized private Palestinian vehicles in the northern part of the Israeli occupied territories, slashing the tires of nearly two dozen parked cars and spraying racist graffiti on the walls of buildings.

Local residents said Israeli settlers raided the Arab village of Manshiya Zabda on Thursday morning, puncturing the tires of some 20 Palestinian-owned vehicles and spray-painting Hebrew-language anti-Arab graffiti on nearby buildings.

The phrase “Arabs are enemies, expel or kill” had been written in Hebrew on the walls of buildings.

Local Imam Sheikh Ali Balal said “the entire community is feeling angry and frustrated.”

He added, “We’re a very small community. We’ve never had such an incident. We have a great relationship with our neighbors… We hope they’ll get to the criminals quickly and bring them to justice.”

The development took place only three days after the tires of over 160 vehicles were slashed and threatening graffiti was sprayed in the Shuafat neighborhood of East Jerusalem al-Quds.

Hateful slogans were spray-painted on one wall, and graffiti reading "Arabs = enemies" and "There's no place in Israel for enemies" was also found.

Yousef Jabareen, a member of the Joint List – a political alliance of the main Arab-majority political parties in the Israeli parliament (Knesset), condemned the vandalism at the time in a post published on his Twitter page.

He wrote, “Another severe hate crime - in Shuafat. Again, the authorities are closing their eyes. Hundreds of cars have been damaged at this point, as well as dozens of houses of prayer and thousands of trees. Not to forget the murder of the Dawabshe family.”

Back in July 2015, a large fire broke out after settlers threw firebombs and Molotov cocktails into two Palestinian houses in the West Bank town of Duma, setting them ablaze while their inhabitants were asleep.

The arson attack killed 18-month-old baby, Ali Dawabsheh, and critically wounded his father and mother, Sa’ad and Riham, who later succumbed to their injuries. Ali’s four-year-old brother, Ahmad, who was also wounded in the assault, remained the sole survivor of the ill-fated family.

“If similar acts had been carried out by Arabs in Jewish towns, would it occur to anyone that they would happen again and again so often without catching the perpetrators?” Jabareen added.

The Thursday incident bore the hallmark of a "price tag" attack. Price tag attacks are acts of vandalism and violence carried out by Israeli settlers against Palestinians and their property as well as Islamic holy sites by Israeli settlers.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

According to human rights groups, incidents of sabotage and violence by extremist Jewish settlers against Palestinians and their property are a daily occurrence throughout the West Bank.

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