Israeli military base vandalized, allegedly by settlers


JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli military base was vandalized in what is believed to be retribution against the army by West Bank Jewish settlers.

Unknown assailants vandalized 13 military vehicles at the West Bank base early Wednesday by puncturing tires, shattering windows and spraying graffiti against Israel Defense Forces commanders and the dismantling of structures in the Jewish settlement of Migron on Monday, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

The words "price tag" also were sprayed on the vehicles, referring to the strategy that extremist settlers have adopted to exact a price in attacks on Palestinians in retribution for settlement freezes and demolitions or for Palestinian attacks on Jews.

Soldiers were complicit in the attack, the IDF believes, as it is very difficult to infiltrate a military base. The vandalized base is near the Palestinian city of Ramallah

It marked the first time that settlers have allegedly carried out planned vandalism against army property, Haaretz reported.

The attack appears to be in retaliation for the razing of three permanent homes in the Migron outpost near Jerusalem. A West Bank mosque was attacked, allegedly by settlers, in the hours following the demolition.

Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrahi, the head of the Central Command, told the commander of the Judea and Samaria Region District of the Israel Police that the "diverting of anger towards military officials with the objective of deterring them from carrying out legal operations, government and Supreme Court decisions is unacceptable and reprehensible. I intend, along with the law enforcement authorities to apprehend those responsible for the incident, and bring them to justice."

The settlers’ Yesha Council condemned the attack.

"Those responsible for the crimes must turn themselves in to the police, and the security forces must act with resolve to uproot this aberrant phenomenon," the council said in a statement. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the attack "an abhorrent crime directed against commanders and vehicles the mission of which is to protect the lives of Israeli civilians in Judea and Samaria," in a statement issued from his office.  

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