Another “price tag” attack by West Bank settlers was reported today in the Palestinian village of As-Sawiya, where settlers chopped down at least 50 trees in an olive grove and spray painted graffiti on the site.
It was the second vandalism price tag attack this week already, with a Sunday incident in which vandals hit the Shuafat Refugee Camp and damaged cars, slashing their tires and spray painting “death to the enemy” on them.
West Bank settler groups regularly launch such attacks against Christian and Muslim owned targets to “protest” Israeli government policy they see as not sufficiently pro-settler. The timing in this case is odd as it comes just a day after the announcement of major new settlement expansions, and there doesn’t seem to be any specific reason for them to be riled up.
Though the owner of the olive grove brought the attack to the attention of Israeli security forces in the area, arrests are extremely rare in such attacks and prosecutions are virtually unheard of. Though Israeli officials have promised to take the matters more seriously after several “price tag” attacks also hit inside Israel itself, there is no indication that this is actually the case.