The targeting of Palestinian properties by vandals has become increasingly common both within Israel and the occupied territories.
Palestinians in the Israeli Arab village of Jish in northern Israel awoke on Tuesday to find the tyres of 170 cars slashed and racially-aggravated graffiti scrawled on walls.
The messages written in Hebrew condemned interfaith co-existence and intermarriage.
One message on the wall of the mosque in Jish warned: “Jews wake up and stop assimilating.”
Footage of the attack has also emerged which shows the alleged perpetrators kneeling to slash car tyres.
The town of Jish has been frequently targeted by Jewish hate groups in actions known as 'price tags' which is vandalism by fundamentalist settler youths largely aimed at the Palestinian population in order to make life difficult for Arabs.
Similar attacks have been carried out at the largely Christian village of Jish in the past and the police have struggled to find the perpetrators.
A Palestinian journalist said on Twitter: “For the third time in the last few years, Jewish extremists attacked the peaceful Arab village of Jish (Gush Halav) in the north of Israel, at night.”
The Church of the Holy Land also issued a statement condemning attacks on the village while pointing out that perpetrators of previous incidents had not been brought to justice.
It stated: “It is with anger and sorrow we find ourselves forced to issue denunciations at frequent intervals, and it is even more frustrating that these events pass without reaching the culprits and bringing them to justice in the vast majority of cases.”
Church of the Holy Land condemns hate crime that targeted predominant Christian Arab village of Jish (northern Israel). pic.twitter.com/DeyPOlziMD— Wadie (@WadieAbunassar) February 12, 2020
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “I strongly condemn the graffiti and vandalism of property in the village of Jish overnight. We will find the offenders and deal with them to the fullest extent of the law. We will not accept any attacks on our citizens.”
Netanyahu has in the past, however, stoked anti-Arab rhetoric to fire up his electoral base. During the recent national elections, he said: “The Arabs want to annihilate us all — women, children and men."
A spokesperson said the police force in Jish has opened an investigation to find the culprits.
‘Price tag’ attacks have seen a dramatic rise in recent years within Israel. In 2018 there were 205 such attacks, compared to 79 in 2017 and 57 in 2016.
These figures, however, do not include ‘price tag’ attacks in the occupied territories, where the increase has been even higher. In 2018 there were 482 incidents compared to 140 in 2017.
The vast majority of ‘price tag’ attacks occur to Palestine property, agricultural land and vehicles as a way of pressuring Arabs to abandon their land or making life increasingly difficult so that they sell their land to Jewish settlers.
A report looking at ‘price tag’ actions has argued that the Israeli government despite its rhetoric, has been slow to address the problem and even when perpetrators have been arrested they are often released with little or no repercussions.