Tires of 40 cars were slashed and racist graffiti was sprayed on buses in the Arab town of Jaljulia northeast of Tel Aviv, on Thursday night, November 28. Police opened an investigation to determine the circumstances of the vandalism.
“This is a very serious incident. These are racists who come to Arab communities to vandalize our property, and it will not be all that surprising when they cross the next line to more serious crimes”, said Jaljulia mayor, Darwish Rabi, a leading Hadash activist.The Chairman of the Joint List, MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash), placed responsibility for the the criminal action on the shoulders of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, claiming it was a result of the incessant goading of the Arab community in Israel by the head of the government. “Netanyahu doesn’t need surveys; he opened a newspaper this morning and saw that another Price Tag attack took place in Jaljulia. There’s no stronger proof that his messages are seeping in and his incitement is working,” Odeh said.
Hadash MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Joint List) responded to the attack tweeting: “Another hate crime – this time in Jaljulia. Since the beginning of the year, 43 localities have been attacked. Even in the face of this large-scale organization, the police are demonstrating laxness; there are almost no arrests or solving the incidents.” She claimed: “These crimes stem directly from the Prime Minister’s unruly incitement. He and the right-wing government are responsible.”
The vandalism in Jaljulia came two days after the leader of a Jewish far-right group known for his racist message, Bentzi Gopstein, was charged with incitement to violence and racism and support for terrorism for his many inflammatory statements against Arabs. More recently, Gopstein launched a political career, serving in a top post in the extreme-right party Otzma Yehudit, but was barred from running in the 2019 elections.
The incident in Jaljulia comes amidst a spate of price tag attacks in the West Bank. During the annual olive harvest over the last two months, settlers have destroyed or uprooted hundreds of Palestinian-owned trees across the West Bank. Of 97 complaints about settler attacks against Palestinian trees, monitored by the Israeli rights groups Yesh Din, so far none has led to the indictment of a single suspect. Meanwhile, the human rights group B’Tselem has recorded 13 additional price tag attacks in the West Bank during October and November, including the slashing of car tires and the spray painting of hateful graffiti.