A group of Israeli settlers have set fire to an Arab restaurant in central Jaffa. Eyewitnesses to the arson attack said that the settlers sprayed racist and anti-Arab graffiti on the walls of the building. “Kahane was right” (a reference to the racist Rabbi Meir Kahane whose extremist Kach organisation was banned even in Israel) and “price tag” figured prominently, as they have in other settler attacks on Palestinians and their properties across the occupied West Bank.
Quick-thinking by those present ensured that the arson didn’t turn into murder, as local families in the same building were evacuated just in time. The attack was followed by unrest, with many Palestinians congregating next to the restaurant to express their anger over the incident in the presence of Israeli police patrols.
The number of attacks by settlers has escalated in Jaffa, a city inside Israel, reflecting the rise elsewhere in the occupied territories. Just a few weeks ago, Muslim and Christian cemeteries in Jaffa were vandalised by right-wing Jewish settlers. Headstones had “price tag” and “death to Arabs” sprayed on them.