Israel police: New attack on Palestinian property

AP News
Posted: Nov 09, 2011 1:40 PM
Israel police: New attack on Palestinian property

Three Palestinian cars were torched and a Palestinian house was defaced in the West Bank, Israeli police said Wednesday, and evidence at the scene suggested the involvement of Jewish extremists.

The words "price tag" were spray-painted on the house in Beit Ummar, a town near the West Bank city of Hebron, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

The phrase refers to a Jewish settler tactic of attacking Palestinian targets to protest government activities against settlements.

Police were investigating the overnight attack, Rosenfeld said.

There has been a surge in violence in recent months against Palestinian property in the West Bank and in Israel, with mosques attacked, Arab cemeteries desecrated and hundreds of olive trees uprooted.

Rosenfeld said a 21-year-old Jewish man was arrested on Wednesday in connection with some of the earlier attacks against Palestinians in the Jerusalem area.

Also Wednesday, the Israeli military said Gaza furniture makers will be allowed to export their goods to Europe this week for the first time since Hamas militants took over the territory in 2007.

Israel imposed restrictions on Gaza imports and exports as part of a blockade they said was intended to stop the militants from rearming. Critics say it hurts ordinary people in Gaza.

Israel began relaxing its limitations on Gaza exports last year. Under the new regulations, Gaza manufacturers will be able to export furniture, textiles and agricultural products abroad.

Israeli military spokesman Maj. Guy Inbar said seven truckloads of furniture will be shipped to Europe this week. He said hundreds of tons of strawberries as well as millions of carnations and other goods will be exported later this month.

Sari Bashi of the Israeli human rights group Gisha said benefit to Gaza will be limited. She said there is not much of a market for Gaza furniture in Europe. "The trucks should go to their natural market in the West Bank," she said.