A vandalised Israeli police car Photograph:( AFP )
The vandalism took place overnight under the cover of the rain, and that the perpetrators were religious Jews
More than 160 cars were vandalised in a Palestinian neighbourhood of Jerusalem with anti-Arab slogans scrawled nearby, Israeli police said Monday, in a suspected hate crime.
The cars in the Shuafaat neighbourhood of east Jerusalem had their tyres 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 Kann 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 hate crimes that generally target Palestinian or Arab Israeli property in revenge for nationalistic attacks against Israelis.
"Three masked settlers sneaked into the neighbourhood 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.