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Palestinian cars and homes vandalised in 'price-tag' attacks in East Jerusalem

Residents of Shuafat tell MEE that surveillance cameras show three people fleeing the scene for a nearby Israeli settlement
A row of cars with slashed tires after a 'price tag' attack in the East Jerusalem town of Shuafat (MEE\Sundus Ewies)
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Jerusalem

Palestinian residents of the occupied East Jersualem neighbourhood of Shuafat woke up on Monday morning to find dozens of their cars and properties vandalised, in apparent Israeli "price tag" attacks.

Ali Abu Khdier, a resident of Shuafat whose car tyres were slashed, said surveillance cameras showed three masked and hooded people gashing at vehicles and writing anti-Arab slogans on the walls of houses.

“They want Jerusalemites to leave the city. But we were born in Jerusalem and we will die and be buried in it,” Abu Khdier told Middle East Eye.

'They want Jerusalemites to leave the city. But we were born in Jerusalem and we will die and be buried in it'

- Ali Abu Khdier, Shuafat resident

The raid resembles "price tag" attacks routinely conducted by Israeli settlers on Palestinian towns and villages in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli police said they were investigating the incident and reported that around 40 cars were damaged.

Ezzat Ghaith, who had two vehicles damaged, said that residents had traced the vandals' movements via surveillance cameras and seen them flee to Ramat Shlomo, an illegal Israeli settlement around 500 metres from Shuafat.

“They were masked and carried metal tools, and around 150 vehicles were damaged and their tyres were slashed,” Ghaith said.

The attackers sprayed the Star of David and wrote “We Jews get stabbed, don’t be silent” on Shuafat's walls.

Rising violence

With so many cars put out of action, the neighbourhood was at a standstill on Monday morning, as many residents were unable to drive their children to school or get to work on time.

Maisa Abu Khdier, another resident who suffered damaged to her property, told MEE that it is not the first time settlers have attacked Palestinians of Jerusalem.

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“They come after midnight to attack houses like bats… They write slogans that incite the killing of Arabs and attacking them, such as ‘no place for Arab,’ and ‘death to Arabs’,” she said.

Settler attacks have increased since the Israel-run Jerusalem municipality opened a new road on the neighbourhood's western slopes, she added.

Shuafat, which lies north of Jerusalem's Old City, is no stranger to Israeli violence. 

In June 2014, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, a 16-year-old Palestinian, was kidnapped from the neighbourhood by some Israeli youths and burnt to death, as part of a spate of violence that led to the 2014 Gaza war.

So-called “price-tag” attacks have become increasingly common in the West Bank. Israeli daily Haaretz reported that the number of reported incidents rose from 140 across all of 2017 to nearly 500 in 2018.

In addition to slashing car tyres and painting anti-Arab slogans, “price-tag” attacks often include assaults on Palestinians and cutting down trees belonging to Palestinian farmers.