Car vandalized in Shuafat, Jerusalem December 9th 2019
Car vandalized in Shuafat, Jerusalem December 9th 2019Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

More than 160 cars were vandalized in a predominantly Arab neighborhood of Jerusalem with anti-Arab slogans scrawled nearby, Israeli police said Monday, in a suspected hate crime.

The cars in the Shuafat neighborhood of east Jerusalem had their tires slashed, with slogans such as "Arabs=enemies", "There is no room in the country for enemies" and "When Jews are stabbed we aren't silent" scrawled in Hebrew with red paint nearby, photos published by Israeli media showed.

Police said their forces "continue to search the area for the suspects who fled the scene."

A local official told public broadcaster Kan that footage revealed the vandalism took place overnight under the cover of the rain, and that the perpetrators were religious Jews.

The incident bore the hallmark of a "price tag" attack, a euphemism for Jewish nationalist-motivated crimes that generally target Arab Israeli property in revenge for terror attacks against Israelis.

"Three masked settlers sneaked into the neighborhood early and damaged the tyres of cars on the main street," said Maysa Abu Khdair, a resident whose car was targeted and whose surveillance cameras caught the scene.

"My daughter went on foot to school in the rain," she added.