Suspected Jewish vandals set three vehicles on fire and sprayed threatening graffiti directed at Secretary of State John Kerry ahead of his expected visit to Israel, authorities said.
The incident in a West Bank village is expected to lead to tighter security for Kerry when he arrives in Israel Thursday, hoping to broker an agreement between the Palestinians and Israeli government, the Associated Press reported.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told reporters Tuesday the vandals sprayed Hebrew graffiti on a building wall that read, “Blood will spill in Judea and Samaria” — the Israeli term for the West Bank — and “Regards to Kerry.”
Rosenfeld says the vandals then fled the Palestinian village of Jilazoun. Police are still investigating the incident.
The Obama administration’s peace talks with Iran and policies toward the West Bank have drawn ire from many Israeli politicians and citizens who see the U.S. as placating to enemies of the Jewish state.
Kerry’s remarks in November blasting Israel’s policies in the West Bank were met with anger by some Israeli leaders when he said the policies of rebuilding would lead to a “third Intifada.”
“Israel says, ‘Oh we feel safe today, we have the wall. We’re not in a day to day conflict’,” Kerry said. “I’ve got news for you. Today’s status quo will not be tomorrow’s…” Israel’s neighbors, he warned, will “begin to push in a different way.”
The vandals’ actions came just as Israeli officials released more than two dozen Palestinian prisoners convicted in deadly attacks against Israelis. It was part of a U.S.-sponsored deal to restart Mideast peace talks, the Associated Press reported.
The State Department did not immediately return a request for comment from TheBlaze.