Last updated: 13 May, 2014

Palestinians urge terror listing for Jewish extremists

The Palestinians have written to foreign governments urging them to list Jewish extremist groups behind a spate of hate attacks as terrorist organisations, the foreign minister said on Tuesday.

Those receiving the letters include Canada, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations, as well as the Arab League and the Islamic Cooperation Organisation, Malki told Palestinian radio.

Last month, the US State Department for the first time included a mention of so-called “price tag” violence in its 2013 Country Reports on Terrorism.

The term is a euphemism for nationally motivated hate crimes by Jewish extremists which predominantly target Palestinian or Israeli Arab property.

Attacks on Christian sites have also increased in recent weeks in an attempt to attract media attention in the run-up to a visit to the Holy Land by Pope France later this month.

The US move was not generally well received in Israel, with police saying such incidents could not be compared with bloody Palestinian nationalist attacks.

But Justice Minister Tzipi Livni has backed calls to define them as “terrorism”, a measure that would give both investigators and prosecutors greater powers.