'Price tag' attack strikes second Palestinian village inside Israel
Palestinian residents of the usually pacific seaside village of Jisr al-Zarqa, south of Haifa, woke up on Wednesday to find their tyres slashed and graffiti praising settlers sprayed across their walls.
“The hill in Izhar," it said on the sprayed messages, referring to an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank. "We won’t forget and won’t forgive."
So-called "price tag" attacks are frequently carried out by settlers in Palestinian villages in the West Bank, leaving properties and crops damaged, and sometimes resulting in murder.
The attacks started about a decade ago when far-right Jewish settlers adopted a policy of attacking Palestinians and their property in the West Bank to exact a "price" for state moves to take down their illegal outposts.
They are, however, much less typical inside Israel where Palestinians, like those in Jisr al-Zarqa, are citizens of the state of Israel and hold Israeli passports.
But the attack on the village, which neighbours the well-heeled towns of Zichron Yaakov and Caesarea where Jewish Israelis live, is the second price-tag attack on a Palestinian community inside Israel in the past two weeks.
On 19 July, Israeli settlers reportedly attacked Jish village in Upper Galilee, piercing 40 car tyres and leaving hateful graffiti messages sprayed on properties.
On Wednesday, residents in Jisr al-Zarqa told local media that the attack on their village, which they reported to the Israeli police, had spread anger throughout the community.
“This is a horrific crime against our calm village, and we did not witness something like this before,” Riyadh Najjar told Arab 48 news site.
The head of the Public Committee of Jisr al-Zrqa, Sami al-Ali, told journalists that the incident is part of an increase in attacks in the West Bank and inside Israel, including mosque and church burnings and damaged trees and crops.
"Terrorism of the price-tag crimes that are committed by settlers in the West Bank and inside Israel is spiking recently,” al-Ali said.