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New act of vandalism targets Armenian cemetery in Jerusalem

New act of vandalism targets Armenian cemetery in Jerusalem

PanARMENIAN.Net - Israeli police discovered Hebrew graffiti Sunday, January 17 on the walls of a famous Jerusalem church, as well as on walls of Greek Orthodox and Armenian cemeteries, in what appears to be the latest vandalism attack by extremist Jews, the Associated Press reports.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said anti-Christian slogans were found on the outer walls of the Dormition Abbey, a Benedictine monastery located just outside Jerusalem's Old City and where Christian tradition says the Virgin Mary died. The graffiti included threats of violence, messages degrading Jesus and a call for Christians to "go to hell."

Nikodemus Schnabel, the Dormition Abbey spokesman, said the graffiti bore "very radical messages."

Police are investigating but suspicion immediately fell on Jewish extremists who have for years vandalized Palestinian property, as well as mosques, churches, the offices of dovish Israeli groups and even Israeli military bases. The so-called "price tag" attacks seek to exact a cost for Israeli steps seen as favoring the Palestinians.

That attacks have prompted widespread condemnation and pledges by Israel's government to get tougher on Jewish vigilantes.

Israel's Minister of Public Security, Gilad Erdan, said he has instructed police to give the vandalism case top priority.

"We will not allow anyone to undermine the coexistence between religions in Israel. We will show zero tolerance to whomever harms the democratic foundations of Israel and its freedom of religion and we will apprehend those who carried out this heinous act," he said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also condemned the vandalism.

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