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Paying the price

"Paying the price" Continued...

Issue: "Reaping a whirlwind," Aug. 24, 2013

Members of the extremist cell were arrested within three weeks and the leader of the group told police he wanted to bomb the Knesset.

In June, the Israeli security cabinet voted against labeling price taggers as “terrorists” but did adopt stricter measures for preventing and punishing such attacks. These new regulations allow law enforcement officers to treat price tag attacks the same way they would acts of terrorism.

Police in the Jerusalem area arrested 12 suspects with alleged connections to the 56 price tag attacks in their district during 2012, but most of them were released. Ceren, however, disagrees with accusations of a lackluster government response: “It’s just very difficult to make the case that these are anything but a fringe group of a fringe group, let alone that the government is providing them with immunity.”

Analysts are quick to point out that Christians still fare far better in Israel than surrounding Muslim countries where persecution involves much more than offensive graffiti and vandalism. Israel’s price tag attacks have not led to any injuries or deaths. Still, Christian and Muslim leaders are hopeful that stricter laws targeting price taggers will prevent a slippery slope of growing minority persecution in a country that is no stranger to trials and tribulations. 

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