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2 Israelis charged over racist, anti-Palestinian vandalism

June 9, 2014 3:17 P.M. (Updated: June 10, 2014 1:53 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israeli prosecutors have charged two young Israelis with a racially-inspired attack in 2013 on dozens of Palestinian-owned vehicles in a village just outside Jerusalem, the justice ministry said on Monday.

During the incident in June last year, the tires of 34 cars were punctured and racist slogans were scrawled on a wall in Abu Ghosh, a village west of Jerusalem.

A statement from the ministry said Arye Pearl, a 21-year-old from the extremist settlement of Yitzhar in the northern West Bank, was charged with vandalism of property and cars with a racist motive at Jerusalem District Court on Monday.

The second suspect, whose identity could not be divulged since he was a minor at the time of the attack, was indicted on the same charges on Sunday at Jerusalem juvenile court, the ministry said.

According to the indictments, the suspects scrawled Hebrew graffiti on a wall reading: "Arabs out," and: "Racism or assimilation." Assimilation is a negative reference to Jews and non-Jews mixing.

Abu Ghosh is a Palestinian-majority village which tends to attracts hordes of Israelis to its restaurants famed for their hummus and grilled meats.

Such attacks are known by the term 'price tag' -- a euphemism for nationalist-motivated hate crimes by Jewish extremists aimed at Palestinians and their property, but have also targeted other non-Jews and occasionally left-wing Israelis and the Israeli army.
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