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Price tag vandals attack Jewish-Arab village (JERUSALEM POST) By MELANIE LIDMAN 06/08/12)Source: http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=273165 JERUSALEM POST JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
The Jewish-Arab coexistence village of Neve Shalom near Latrun was attacked overnight on Thursday by price tag vandals expressing their displeasure over the decision to evacuate parts of the Ulpana settlement. Extreme rightists slashed the tires of 14 cars and spray painted anti-Arab messages on the elementary school, public buildings, and three cars.

The vandals spray painted “Revenge” “Regards from Ulpana” and “Regards from Gilad Farms” as well as “Death to Arabs” and “Kahane was right.”

Police opened an investigation into the attacks.

Gideon Sulimani, the chairman of the local council at Neve Shalom/Wahat al Salam said the vandalism happened sometime between 2:30 and 5:00. The local kindergarten teacher discovered the graffiti around 5:30 AM. Sulimani said that the village has not had any issues of racist attacks previously, and has no fence around it.

“We see this as an attempt to damage the idea of the village,” he said. “We live together and we’re proof that we can do this,” Suliman added.

“This is the writing on the wall, and we’re counting on police to take care of this. The things that are happening here, we can’t ignore this, and we can’t get used to this. This time it’s cars, but next time it will be people,” he said.

Suliman said the attack was especially frightening for the children of the community, and they planned on holding special sessions over the coming days to discuss the attacks.

This was the second time price tag vandals targeted an organization that promotes coexistence. Vandals also attacked the Hand in Hand Center for Jewish-Arab Education elementary school in the Patt neighborhood of Jerusalem on February 7, where they spray painted “Kahane was right” and “death to Arabs” in large letters on the wall.

Price-tag attacks are a tool used by Jewish extremists to protest government and army policies they perceive as anti-settlement policies. The use of the word comes from their claim that vandalism against Arab property is the “price” that must be paid for the evacuation of settlements and the demolition of housing.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu blocked Knesset legislation that would have saved unauthorized settler homes from demolition – paving the way for the evacuation of five buildings built on private Palestinian land in the Ulpana outpost, on the outskirts of Beit El.

In compensation for the evacuation of Ulpana, the government announced authorization of 851 new homes in West Bank settlements.

Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam was founded in 1970 on land next to the Latrun Monastery, and is now home to around 50 families.

Jpost.com staff contributed to this report (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 06/08/12)

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