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Suspected Israeli settlers spray Islamophobic, racist graffiti in East Jerusalem

May 9, 2017 12:44 P.M. (Updated: May 9, 2017 7:13 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Suspected extremist Israeli settlers sprayed racist and Islamophobic graffiti and vandalized several vehicles in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shufat on Tuesday night, locals told Ma’an.

Private surveillance cameras captured footage of two Israeli settlers entering the al-Sahl area of Shufat and spraying racist graffiti on walls and vehicles at around 3 a.m., neighborhood resident Murad Issa told Ma’an.

The graffiti, written in Hebrew, read "(Prophet) Muhammad is a pig" and "administrative price tag” -- in reference to the term “price tag” used by right-wing extremist settlers to refer to the attacks they carry out on Palestinians and their property.

Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post speculated that the phrase “administrative price tag” referred to Jewish-Israeli extremists imprisoned by Israel under its policy of administrative detention -- internment without trial or charges -- which is overwhelmingly used against Palestinians.

Issa added that 17 vehicles were vandalized, some of which were spray painted, while others had their tires punctured, adding that a similar “price tag” attack had occurred in al-Sahl two years earlier.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said in a statement on Tuesday morning that an investigation had been opened into an “incident” between the illegal settlement of Ramat Shlomo and Shufat “when damage was caused to a number of vehicles and graffiti written on them,” without further elaborating on the xenophobic nature of the case.

Many Palestinian activists and rights groups have accused Israel of fostering a “culture of impunity” for Israeli settlers and soldiers committing violent acts against Palestinians.

In March, Israeli NGO Yesh Din revealed that Israeli authorities served indictments in only 8.2 percent of cases of Israeli settlers committing anti-Palestinian crimes in the occupied West Bank in the past three years.

Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law, with recent announcements of settlement expansion provoking condemnation from the international community.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there were a total of 107 reported settler attacks against Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem in 2016. OCHA has recorded 46 such attacks since the beginning of the year.
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