Justice Minister Tzipi Livni on Wednesday took advantage of the State Department report that criticized the so-called “price tag” attacks to slam these incidents as “hate crimes” that “destroy Israel.”
In a post on her Facebook page, Livni criticized what she termed the “hate crimes that have come over from Yitzhar into the State of Israel”.
She added that these incidents “destroy us from within, and disfigure the face of Israel. The State Department report reveals what we knew: that these crimes, known as ‘price tag’, are causing enormous damage to Israel. 'Price tag' goes against Israel and Zionism.”
The State Department’s 2013 anti-terrorism report, released earlier Wednesday, focused intensely on "extremist Israeli settlers" and called for them to be prosecuted by the UN.
The report cited "399 attacks by extremist Israeli settlers that resulted in Palestinian injuries or property damage" and deemed them "violent extremists" - mostly over "price tag" attacks against Palestinian Arab homes and property.
While there have been a string of so-called “price tag” vandalism incidents in Arab villages over the past several months, and while these are usually attributed to Jewish extremists, it remains unclear whether some of the incidents were actual "price tag" attacks.
An Arutz Sheva report in January revealed that in at least some of the recently reported cases, anti-Arab "price tags" were being systematically staged by Arab activists.
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.
Last month, after an IDF vehicle was vandalized in the Samaria town of Yitzhar, Livni referred to these “price tag” attacks as “nationalist violence” and “terror”.
"'Price tag' is an Anti-Zionist crime," she continued. "We will not remain silent about this dangerous phenomenon. We will demand a public condemnation [of the attacks], uncompromising enforcement of the law and the doling out of appropriate punishment for these crimes."