An Israeli Police spokesman has announced that an alleged “price tag” attack in the Arab village of Kusra last Thursday was not the nationalistically motivated action of settlers, but was fabricated and staged for propaganda purposes.
Last Thursday, Feb. 21, the police received a report of six burned cars in the village of Kusra. A blue Israeli identification card was found on site. The media publicized that the arson was the work of Israelis, a so-called “price tag” operation, in retaliation for the destruction of Jewish homes the previous week by the Israeli government. Following an extensive investigation the police concluded that the arson was not committed by Jews. The police questioned several residents of Kusra, and their statements were not compatible with the findings at the scene. The Israeli ID card belonged to a soldier who dropped it a few days earlier while on a mission in the village.
Aish Kodesh, a nearby Jewish community was implicated by the media in the alleged “price tag” action at Kusra. Aharon Katsof, spokesman for Aish Kodesh, told Tazpit News Agency that the police’s findings support their claims: “We have stated throughout the entire time that this was a Palestinian provocation against Aish Kodesh. In the past months we have been assaulted on a daily basis by hundreds of Arab vandals who destroy our property and fields, throw stones and fire-bombs at our homes, causing us tremendous financial loss. Albeit our repetitive requests, the IDF has not provided sufficient security to our families, and we have recently learned that the army has further decreased its presence in the area, which will bring to an increase in the Arab attacks against us. The solving of this case proves again that the Arabs are constantly trying to stage provocations and their claims are accepted without proper scrutiny. The damage caused to the community’s name as a result of the media publications is immense. We hope that in future such confrontations the public will understand that these actions are instigated by the Palestinian Authority in an attempt to establish a new reality on the ground by gaining control of state-owned lands and by besmirching the name of the Israeli residents of Judea and Samaria, but Aish Kodesh will continue to develop and prosper.”
There have been a number of incidents where the Israeli residents of Judea and Samaria have been accused of committing “price tag’ actions against the Arabs in the region. To this date, no Israeli has been tried or convicted on such charges. In many of the incidents, as in this case, the vandalism turns out to be a staged provocation, local criminal activity or tribal infighting.