A Palestinian taxi was torched and daubed with anti-Arab slogans near the West Bank city of Hebron early Monday in an incident that bore the hallmarks of a hate crime by Israeli settlers, Palestinians said.
Witnesses said that the partially-burnt Skoda car was spray-painted “price tag Sussia” the name of a settlement where settlers recently clashed with police and that a car bearing yellow Israeli licence plates was spotted leaving the scene.
“Price tag” is the name of a revenge campaign by Jewish extremists, for the most part targeting Palestinians and Arabs in response to state moves against settler outposts.
Such attacks tend to involve the wanton destruction of property and have included arson on cars, mosques and olive trees, although the perpetrators are rarely caught.
Israeli police however arrested two Israeli 16-year-olds on Monday on suspicion of involvement in several offences.
“Two suspects were arrested during the day… in connection with a number of incidents against Palestinians, setting fire to vehicles as well as causing property damage,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP.
He did not say where they were from but said they were arrested by police from the West Bank district and that magistrates had remanded them in custody pending a further court appearance on Thursday.