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Extremist Israelis vandalize Palestinian-owned vehicles in Silwan

June 12, 2016 3:53 P.M. (Updated: May 31, 2017 10:46 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Extremist Israelis vandalized vehicles owned by Palestinians in the Silwan neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem overnight Saturday, Hebrew news sites said on Sunday.

Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri confirmed in a statement that 20 vehicles owned by Palestinian residents were vandalized and sustained damages in Silwan overnight. The vehicles were parked on Falafil street in Silwan, she said.

Al-Samri described the attacks as “dangerous” but did not mention that the attackers might be right-wing Jewish Israelis, as was reported by Israeli media.

She added that Israeli police “employed every possible means” in order to catch the attackers and bring them to justice.

The attacks, allegedly motivated by Israeli nationalism, came amid the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, which began on Saturday and ends Monday. More than a hundred extremist Israelis toured the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Sunday to commemorate the holiday, where three were evacuated from the site after they violated regulations regarding non-Muslim prayer there.

The incidents came as Muslims celebrate the holy month of Ramadan, during which 83,000 Palestinians residing in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip have had their permits revoked to visit Jerusalem and Israel -- following a deadly shooting in Tel Aviv last week -- in a move the UN said could amount to "collective punishment."

Silwan is one of many Palestinian neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem that has seen an influx of Israeli settlers.

Since the start of 2016, the UN has documented at least 26 incidents of property damage carried out by settlers in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
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