Neve Shalom Peace Village in ‘price tag’ attack

08 Jun 2012

Israeli police have launched an investigation into a suspected ‘price tag’ attack on the mixed Jewish-Arab village of Neve Shalom ~ Wahat al-Salam on 8 June. Cars and buildings were vandalised and spray-painted with the slogans “death to Arabs” and “regards from Ulpana,” referring to the Israeli government’s decision to uphold a High Court ruling to evacuate five homes in the Ulpana outpost that were illegally built on Palestinian-owned land.

The village of Neve Shalom ~ Wahat al-Salam is situated mid-way between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and was established in the 1970s, as the first community for Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel to live together. It is currently home to sixty Jewish, Christian and Muslim families, with plans to build a further 90 homes to accommodate its waiting list.

In response to the attacks, the Neve Shalom Secretary Gideon Suleimani told the Yediot Ahronoth newspaper that “we are trying to promote peace and coexistence, and what happened here was a political act aimed at shattering this (initiative).”

The Board of Deputies of British Jews also released a statement condemning the attack, stating that:

“Neve Shalom is a cooperative village jointly founded by Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs, and aims to show that the two can live together peacefully. It is a beacon of hope and has achieved international recognition for its efforts in this field.

This appears to be another example of a ‘price tag’ attack, but even by the standards of this disgraceful vigilante trend it is appalling, being the second attack this year on a school working in the area of coexistence between Jews and Arabs.”

‘Price tag’ attacks usually involve damage to property and violence, and are carried out by extremist settlers and their supporters in response to government policy viewed as harming settlements or following Palestinian violence against settlers. They often target Palestinians and Israeli security forces in the West Bank but are becoming increasingly common within Israel.

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