Middle East Monitor / March 19, 2021
A Palestinian village northwest of Jerusalem has been left vandalised after Israeli settlers sprayed racist graffiti and set fire to cars, according to the Wafa news agency.
The Palestinian Civil Defence rushed to extinguish the fire which engulfed two vehicles.
Residents of Beit Iksa said a group of settlers sneaked into the southern section of the village and spray-painted racist graffiti on the wall that read “regards from Ahuvia” with a Star of David next to it, which is understood to be a reference to the death of Ahuvia Sandak.
The 16-year-old died in January after his car overturned during a police car chase. The officers were after Sandak and his friends because they were suspected of throwing stones at Palestinian vehicles.
Local residents added that Israeli occupation forces raided the village following the settler attack and interrogated a number of the villagers.
The attack followed an escalation of settler violence sparked by settlers directing their anger at Palestinians and Israeli law enforcement officers following the death of Sandak. In the same month, settlers also attacked a ten-year-old Palestinian girl from the West Bank village of Madama, south of Nablus. The girl was wounded in her head and face. She was taken to a hospital in Nablus for treatment and later released.
Israeli settlements are home to around 700,000 Jewish settlers across the West Bank. The settlements (and the settlers) are illegal under international law and have been described by international rights groups as “major obstacles to peace”, given that they are built on stolen Palestinian land.
Despite this, the Israeli authorities have advanced plans for thousands of new settlement homes in recent weeks and months.