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Israel is responsible for "price tag" attacks, not just a few settler extremists | The Electronic Intifada

Israel is responsible for "price tag" attacks, not just a few settler extremists | The Electronic Intifada
The small Palestinian village of Burqa near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank was once again targeted by Israeli settlers this Saturday — the latest so-called “price tag” attack committed by settlers to avenge outpost demolitions by the Israeli government.

The village has been repeatedly attacked by such “price tag” militants. Last year, two cars went up in flames, and three months later the mosque in Burqa was burned, with the words “Mitzpe Yitzhar” (an outpost near Nablus) and “War” painted on its charred walls.

On Saturday, several cars were damaged and graffiti references to a Migron outpost left on the crime scene. Israeli police say they are “canvassing the area.”

Despite the widespread coverage of “price tag” violence, mainstream media outlets habitually neglect the pivotal role of the Israeli government in breeding these attacks. There is a particular tendency by outlets such as the BBC, Agence France Presse and The Financial Times to limit Israeli government responsibility for “price tag” attacks to inadequate police investigations of settler crimes. This, however, only paints half the picture.

For years, the Israeli government has provided structural financial support to its most radical settler communities. This includes funds for the construction of outposts, which even the Israeli high court has confirmed as illegal under Israeli law.

The scheduled demolition of some of these outposts triggered waves of “price tag” setter attacks that the government of Benjamin Netanyahu has chosen not to prosecute. Instead, it has opted to “retroactively” legalize outposts that face demolition and build new settlements for outpost inhabitants when an outpost demolition remains inevitable.

Through these policies, the state is giving perpetrators of “price tag” violence exactly what they want: more legalized outposts, more land and the establishment of entirely new settlements. The government does not simply allow acts of “price tag” violence to happen, but it rewards them too.

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