The Security Cabinet approved on Sunday to significantly expand the investigative and legal tools available to security forces and law enforcement to act against "price tag" actions. In its decision, the Cabinet authorized the Minister of Defense to exercise his authority to significantly strengthen the ability to fight the phenomenon.
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni is also seeking ways to have the battle against "price tag" actions fall under the Prevention of Terrorism laws.
In the past two years, there have been numerous reports of public and private property being spray painted with the words "tag machir” or ”price tag." Vehicles have also been mysteriously burned and other acts of vandalism committed with accompanying “price tag" graffiti. Police have arrested a number of youth suspected of committing the acts but virtually no one has been tried and convicted of the incidents. In one or two cases, those that claimed to be victims of "price tag" incidents were found by police to have personally committed the acts.
The actions have been condemned by many public officials but the new push to consider the actions "terrorism" has been met with opposition from a variety of different political sectors. Barry Leff, a member of the board of Rabbis for Human Rights and a former chairman of the group, penned an editorial in the Jerusalem Post last week stating "equating graffiti with suicide bombers will only serve to dilute the meaning of the word “terrorist"... lesser price-tag attacks that are strictly property crimes, such as spray-painting graffiti, should not be a cause to forgo the normal due process of law."