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Israel toughens law against anti-Palestinian Jewish vandals


19:24, June 17, 2013

JERUSALEM, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Israel's security cabinet approved new measures overnight Sunday to prevent extremists from vandalizing Palestinian property in the so-called "Price Tag" attacks, local media reported Monday.

The move was taken in an attempt to prevent ignition of another circle of violence in the West Bank.

The Price Tag attacks are usually carried out by Jewish extremists against Palestinian property over claims that they avenge attacks on settlers. The vandals torch cars, chop olive trees and spray-paint "Price Tag" and racist slogans on walls of Palestinian houses and mosques.

In an official statement, the cabinet said it had empowered the minister of defense to declare perpetrators of Price Tag attacks as members of "illegal organization."

According to the cabinet, the decision would "significantly expand the investigative and prosecutorial tools available to the security forces and law-enforcement."

Israeli Justice Minister, Tzipi Livni, advocated in the recent month a move to label Price Tag attackers as "terrorist."

However, the cabinet refrained from doing so, fearing the " terror" label would harm Israel's image and would put it in line with Hamas and other militant groups, Israeli officials told Xinhua.

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