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'Criminals Guilty of Price Tag Should Be Dealt With Severely'

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni celebrates the indictments given to 3 Samaria men for 'price tag' attacks, claims attacks prevent peace.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 2/5/2014, 7:44 PM

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni
Flash 90

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni reacted Wednesday with delight to the news that indictments were issued to three Samaria residents , vowing on her Facebook page not to let "price tag" attacks continue. 

"I congratulate the law enforcement agencies for their struggle against the phenomenon of 'Price Tag' attacks," she wrote. "Criminals who carry out 'price tag' [attacks] will be dealt with relentlessly and with the utmost severity."

"This is an ugly nationalistic crime that stems from hatred that seeks to offend, provoke violence and undermine negotiations," Livni continued. "Israel is a law abiding country, and our society is based on democratic values ​​of equality and tolerance - and we are determined to keep it so."

Indictments were filed against three residents of the Havat Gilad farm in Samaria on charges of perpetrating "price tag" attacks against Palestinian Arabs. 

The three are charged with several offenses: conspiracy to commit a crime motivated by racism or hostility towards the public, arson, destruction of land motivated by racism or hostility towards the public, attempted arson, and attempted vandalism motivated by racism or hostility to the public.

The men had been held for several weeks without charge and were denied access to their families or legal representation for much of the time, amid allegations of abuse by authorities.

The document requests that the three be given the maximum punishment for their crimes. 

Shin Bet Director Yoram Cohen admitted Tuesday that catching the perpetrators of "price tag" attacks is extremely difficult, since far from being a centralized movement, such attacks are usually the work of individuals.

Evidence has also surfaced that Palestinian Arabs have been regularly staging "price tag" attacks to frame local Jews. 

Livni has a history of issuing forceful statements against "price tag" attacks. In May, she posted a statement on Facebook in Arabic promising to "obliterate" the phenomenon. In June, she proposed a bill that would deem the incidents "terror attacks," sparking a backlash, as well as mockery by legal experts.