Last updated: 17 July, 2012

Israel arrests man for threatening a peace activist

Israeli police said they have arrested a Jewish man suspected of spray painting death threats outside the Jerusalem home of a prominent Israeli anti-settlement activist working for Peace Now.

“A 21-year-old man suspected of spraying the graffiti on Hagit Ofran’s home was arrested on Monday evening, following the incident earlier that day,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP.

Rosenfeld said the suspect had been arrested in the past for spraying similar slogans on the Jerusalem offices of Peace Now, as well as on a light rail station in the city.

Among the slogans scrawled outside Ofran’s home were the words: “Hagit Ofran: Rest in peace,” and “Kahane was right,” a reference to Meir Kahane, the late founder of an extremist anti-Arab Jewish movement.

Ofran’s home was targeted twice last autumn with threatening graffiti sprayed at her apartment.

The NGO’s director and its Jerusalem offices have also been targeted with graffiti, bomb hoaxes and death threats several times over the past nine months.

Peace Now, which works to end Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories and opposes settlement construction, has been the frequent target of right-wing activists angered by its work.

Hardline settlers and their supporters have adopted what they call a “price tag” policy under which they stage attacks in response to government moves against illegal settlement outposts.

Such hate crimes mostly tend to be directed at Palestinians and their property, but over the past year they have also targeted Israeli peace activists and even in some cases the security forces.