Early Wednesday morning, unknown persons set fire to two Palestinian trucks and spraypainted slogans of the right-wing Israeli settler movement.The graffiti, similar to that sprayed on vandalized mosques, cars and buildings by Israeli settlers in recent weeks, read “Revenge” and “Price Tag”. The ‘price tag’ reference is used by right-wing Israeli settlers who say that Palestinians must ‘pay the price’ for Israeli government decisions to dismantle illegal Israeli settlement outposts.
The cars destroyed in Wednesday’s attack were located in a car wash in Sharafat village, in the Bethlehem district southeast of Jerusalem. The car wash is located near the entrance to the Gilo settlement – an Israeli settlement built on stolen Palestinian land in the Bethlehem area.
According to local sources, the fire began in the pre-dawn hours of Wednesday morning, and by the time firefighters arrived on the scene, a GMC minivan and truck were both completely burned.
The truck was no longer in use as a vehicle, but was being used by the car wash owner as an office for the business. The owner of the truck, who is also co-owner of the car wash, told reporters from the Israeli Ha’aretz newspaper, ‘I got a call from the police at 6 A.M. saying my truck was on fire. We hurried to the site and then we saw the sprayed slogans.’
His father told reporters, “We have many Jewish clients. I have no quarrel with anyone, and don’t know who would want to do this to us. The government will answer for it.”
Israeli police say they have no suspects in the case, but had called in several known settlers for questioning.
This incident is the latest in a string of attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in recent weeks, which have included the burning of mosques and churches, attacks on vehicles and homes, and a violent late-night protest at an Israeli military base in the West Bank.