According to statistics released to the public by Israel’s Shin Bet security service on Sunday, the number of attacks perpetrated against Palestinians by far right Jewish groups has risen significantly.
Through the first nearly four months of 2018, the Shin Bet counted 13 so-called “price tag” attacks, compared to eight similar incidents in the entirety of 2017. “Price tag” refers to hate crimes directed at Palestinians in retaliation for Palestinian violence or government policies perceived as hostile to the Jewish communities in Yehudah and Shomron.
Attacks characterized as “at least as serious as arson” are also threatening to outstrip last year: in 2018, two such attacks have been carried out; while in all of 2017 there were only five.
While last year saw 105 indictments filed against the far-right activists, this year has seen 23 to date.
The Shin Bet has continued its use of administrative orders to curb such activity by detaining or restricting the movements of individuals, usually hilltop youth.
In 2017, 63 administrative orders were issued by Israel Police. So far in 2018, 13 such orders have been issued.
In a related incident, a video posted by residents of Yitzhar shows police officers disguised as religious locals dragging a 15-year-old boy into a vehicle.
The boy was subsequently interrogated for hours on suspicion of “obstructing police officers,” before being released under administrative order preventing him from entering Yehudah and Shomron, the Times of Israel quoted the Honenu legal aid organization as saying.
Honenu charged that one of the policemen in the incident is currently under investigation for assaulting a minor in a recent arrest in Yehudah and Shomron.