Hundreds of grapevines cut down in suspected Israel settler hate crime

Israeli authorities were investigating “an apparent hate crime by right-wing Jewish extremists” yesterday, reported the Times of Israel, after “hundreds of grapevines were cut down in a Palestinian vineyard near the West Bank city of Hebron in the second such incident in a week”.

According to Israeli human rights organisation Yesh Din, the destroyed vineyard – located in Halhul in the southern occupied West Bank – was some nine dunams (two acres) in size.

The site reported that “the incident took place only a few hundred metres away from the site of a similar attack last Wednesday in which 400 grapevines were cut down alongside threatening graffiti in Hebrew”, an attack that took place on the outskirts of Beit Anun village.

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Photos taken by B’Tselem human rights group showed the Hebrew phrase “We will reach every place” spray-painted on a boulder at the scene.

“The graffiti indicated that the attack was of the so-called ‘price tag’ kind”, reported the Times of Israel, “which far-right Jewish perpetrators say are in retaliation for Palestinian violence or government policies perceived as hostile to the settler movement”.

The news site added that “recent months have seen many attacks against Palestinians, including the chopping down of dozens of olive trees, the torching of a mosque, stones thrown through car windows, the slashing of tyres, and graffiti calling for the murder of Arabs.”

There have been no arrests thus far.

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