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11 Feb, 2014

Jewish fanatics carry out ‘price tag’ attack in Jerusalem


Ramallah, Palestine, Tuesday, 11 February 2014 (International Islamic News Agency) –  Jewish extremists punctured the tires of 19 vehicles belonging to Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem on early Monday in a suspected “price tag” attack.

Palestinian sources said that the settlers’ attack in the East Jerusalem’s neighborhood of Silwan resulted in 18 cars having their tires slashed and one bus. The sources added that the vehicles owned by the families of Abu Kahtir, Shaloudi, Awwad, Maragha, al-Razim, Badawi and Manasrah. The sources added that graffiti was also part of the vandalism, with vandals spraying a wall with the words, “Arab labor, enough with naturalization.” Luba Samri, the spokeswoman of Israeli police, said that police launched an investigation into the incidents. No arrests were reported.

“Price tag” attacks, acts of vandalism usually performed against Arab property and typically carried out by Jewish nationalists in retribution for settlement freezes and demolitions, or for Palestinian attacks on Jews, have become increasingly common. Mosques, churches, dovish Israeli groups and even Israeli military bases have been targeted by the vandals in recent years.

In East Jerusalem and the West Bank, there are more than 800,000 Jewish settlers who live with some 3.5 million Palestinians. The Palestinians want the two areas as part of their independent state. Tension has been always on between the two sides that usually turn into violence.

On Sunday, an Israeli ministerial committee voted down a controversial bill proposal to annex Jewish settlements in Palestinian territories and apply Israeli law unto them. According to the report, the hawkish and controversial bill suggested applying Israeli law to all the Israeli settlements located in the West Bank, on territories Israel annexed following the June 1967 War, as well as the settlements’ surround area and roads leading to them. The Israel Radio said that the majority of the ministers voted against the bill, proposed by Knesset Member Miri Regev Miri Regev of ruling Likud party. The report said that members of the pro-settlers Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) party voted in favor of the bill.

The bill also charges that the government should be prohibited from halting the construction in the settlements, amid the negotiations with the Palestinians. Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians have resumed in July after a three-year halt, mostly due to the incessant efforts put in by US Secretary of State John Kerry to reach historic peace in the region. Kerry has paid several trips to the region this year, initially expressing confidence that a permanent peace accord, providing for a Palestinian state alongside Israel, could be wrapped up by the end of April. More recently, he has been pushing the less ambitious “framework” idea.

The goal is for the framework, or series of guidelines, to address all core issues, including borders between Israel and a future Palestinian state, Palestinian refugees and conflicting claims to the holy city of Jerusalem. Kerry is working on introducing a framework agreement to outline the future progress of the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians in the course of the upcoming year.