'Price tag' vandalism
Photo: Gil Yohanan
The Jerusalem District Police said that the capital has seen a disconcerting increase in "price tag" incidents in 2012.
According to data released on Sunday, 56 "price tag" incidents took place across Jerusalem in 2012 – double the amount in 2011, in which 28 incidents occurred.
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All of the vandalism incidents – which included graffiti, slashing tires and torching cars – were aimed at Arab-owned property.
According to District Police Commander Yossi Pariente arrests were made in only 12 of the cases.
The police said that in 85% of the cases, vandals sprayed vituperations such as "Death to Arabs" and "price tag" on walls and cars, but refrained from any acts of physical violence.
Turning his attention to figures representing general criminal activity in Jerusalem in 2012, Pariente said that the city was the scene of four murders – all of which were solved.
He also noted that seven nationalistically-motivated assaults took place in Jerusalem last year, six of which have been solved.
The Jerusalem District Police have formed a special 10-person taskforce to investigate nationalistically-motivated crimes, he said; adding that "The team is meant to cover all operational, intelligence and investigative aspects of such cases."
Pariente also commented on the growing unrest in Jerusalem's eastern neighborhoods, which corresponds with the tensions plaguing the West Bank: "We are gearing to meet every scenario.
"We have yet to recognize any escalation within Jerusalem, but we do see agitation in the crossings, near Rachel's Tomb and near Bitunia and Qalandiya, where there is an increase in riots," he said.
Pariente noted that in 2012 some 400 Palestinian residents of east Jerusalem were arrested in connection to cases of stoning and hurling Molotov cocktails.
Some 150 of those arrested resided in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan and the village of Isawiya, in the city's north.
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