JERUSALEM (AP) — Vandals slashed the tires of dozens of vehicles in an Arab village in northern Israel and spray painted slogans on buildings warning of Jewish-Arab “assimilation,” Israeli police said Tuesday.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the suspects fled the area and police units had opened an investigation and collected evidence from the scene. The slogans in the village of Jish read: “Jews wake up, stop the assimilation.”
Police said the incident was being treated as a suspected hate crime.
It appeared to be the latest case of the so-called “price tag” attacks that hard-line nationalist Israelis have been known to carry out against Arabs in recent years. Most have been directed at Palestinians in response to militant attacks or perceived efforts by Israeli authorities to limit settlement expansion, while others have targeted Christian and Muslim sites.
In December, vandals slashed the tires of over 160 vehicles and sprayed slogans such as “Arabs=enemies” in a Palestinian neighborhood of Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem.
It was unclear what motivated Tuesday's incident.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the attack and vowed to "find the offenders and deal with them to the fullest extent of the law."
He said: "We will not accept any attacks on our citizens.”