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Israel mulls crackdown on anti-Arab hate crimes

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Anti Arab valndalismIsrael plans to use detention without trial against Jewish extremists suspected of anti-Arab hate crimes, a minister announced Wednesday, amid mounting criticism over government failure to secure prosecutions.

Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch told Army Radio on Wednesday that the government intended to use "administrative detention against those carrying out so-called 'price tag' attacks."

"Price tag" is a euphemism for hate crimes committed by Jewish extremists against predominantly Palestinian and Arab-Israeli property.

The announcement came following an emergency meeting convened by senior government officials over the recent spate of vandalism.

Security officials met with government ministers to discuss how to halt the attacks after police confirmed another incident of nationalist-inspired vandalism, in which "Death to Arabs" and other racist graffiti was discovered in northern Israel, according to The Times Of Israel.

Administrative detention allows for suspects to be held without trial for up to six months. Such orders, which can be renewed indefinitely by a court decision, are almost exclusively used against Palestinians suspected of security-related offenses.

Although police have made scores of arrests, there have been no successful prosecutions for price tag attacks and the government has come under mounting pressure to authorize the Shin Bet internal security agency to step in.



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