Jewish settlers vandalize Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem
Published Thursday, February 14, 2013
Suspected Jewish settlers damaged 30 graves and scrawled anti-Arab graffiti on the headstones in an ancient Muslim cemetery in west Jerusalem, Israeli police and witnesses said on Thursday.
"The words 'price tag' and Stars of David were scrawled on around a dozen tombs in the Muslim cemetery in Mamilla in central Jerusalem," a police spokeswoman told AFP, saying an inquiry had been opened.
An AFP correspondent at the scene said the vandals had also written "Mohammad is dead" and "Maale Rehavam" on the tombs some of which date back to the 12th century.
Maale Rehavam is an illegal outpost in the southern West Bank where Israeli police removed six caravans a day earlier.
The move sparked angry protests by settlers and their supporters in and around Jerusalem.
The Al-Aqsa Foundation, a Jerusalem-based religious and archeological preservation group, said wine glasses were found in the area and 30 graves were damaged.
In a statement, the foundation held Israeli Israeli authorities responsible for the attack and urged Islamic countries to intervene to end attacks on Muslim and Christian sites in the holy city.
Price tag is a euphemism for hate crimes carried out by Israeli extremists which generally target Palestinians or Arabs and their property.
There have been several attacks on Mamilla graveyard, known in Arabic as Ma'man Allah cemetery, which dates from the 12th century and is the resting place of several Sufi saints.
Descendants of those interred in the west Jerusalem cemetery say it also houses the remains of soldiers and officials of legendary Muslim ruler Saladin.
(AFP, Ma'an, Al-Akhbar)