Last updated: 28 August, 2012

West Bank cars torched in suspected hate crime

Vandals believed to be Jewish extremists set light to three cars in a village in the southern West Bank on Tuesday, Palestinian witnesses said.

The incident, which took place in Sair village northeast of Hebron, appeared to be linked to the deaths of an Israeli settler called Asher Palmer and his infant son, who died in a car crash on September 23, 2011 after their vehicle was hit by stones.

Near the burnt cars, the attackers had sprayed Hebrew-language graffiti which said: “Regards from Asher Palmer and his son” and “A year to the murder.” They also wrote: “Revenge.”

Israeli security sources confirmed the incident but said only two cars had been torched.

“Two burnt and spray-painted Palestinian vehicles were discovered in Sair. The incident is under investigation by security personnel,” an Israeli security source said on condition of anonymity.

Revenge hate crimes by Israeli extremists, termed “price tag” attacks, normally target Palestinians and Arabs and are usually in retaliation for state moves to dismantle unauthorised settler outposts.

The attacks tend to involve the vandalism or destruction of Palestinian property and have included multiple arson attacks on cars, mosques and olive trees, although the perpetrators are rarely caught.