Settlers scrawl death threats on Israeli activist's home
Published Monday, July 16, 2012
Death threats were spray painted outside the Jerusalem home of a prominent Israeli anti-settlement activist, police said on Monday.
The attack targeted the home of Hagit Ofran, settlement watch director at the advocacy group Peace Now.
"This was the third time they have done something like this within months," Ofran told AFP, saying she believed extremist Jewish settlers were behind the move.
Among the slogans scrawled outside her home were the words: "Hagit Ofran: Rest in peace," and "Kahane was right," a reference to Meir Kahane, the late founder of an extremist anti-Arab Jewish movement.
Ofran's home was targeted twice last autumn with threatening graffiti scrawled on her apartment in September and November.
Police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said the attack was believed to be the work of right-wing extremists.
"Police have launched an investigation after graffiti was sprayed at the entrance of the Jerusalem home of one of the representatives of Peace Now," Rosenfeld said, adding that police were searching the area for suspects.
Peace Now, which works to end Israel's occupation of the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza territories and opposes the construction of illegal settlements, has been the frequent target of fundamentalist settlers.
The NGO's director and its Jerusalem offices have been targeted with graffiti, bomb hoaxes, and death threats several times over the past nine months.
"The settlers are trying to scare us but we are not afraid. The problem is that the government is afraid of them and is doing whatever they want,” said Ofran.
Hardline settlers and their supporters have expanded anti-Palestinian attacks in recent years, adopting what they call a "price tag" policy under which they stage attacks in response to government moves against illegal settlement outposts.
Such hate crimes mostly tend to be directed at Palestinians and their property, but over the past year they have also targeted Israeli peace activists and even in some cases the security forces.
In its last annual report in January, Peace Now reported that Israel's government broke all its illegal settlement-building records in 2011, diminishing prospects for establishing a viable Palestinian state in the occupied West Bank.