Israel police arrest 2 teenagers in assault on Christian cemetery

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JERUSALEM — The Israeli police on Friday arrested two youngsters who they mentioned vandalized over two dozen Christian graves in a historic Jerusalem cemetery earlier this week.

The graves of Christian figures on the Protestant Cemetery on Jerusalem’s honored Mount Zion have been discovered pushed over and pulled from their foundations on Sunday, unsettling the contested metropolis’s Christian minority and drawing worldwide condemnation. The cemetery is greater than 170 years outdated and homes outstanding members of the armed forces and clergy within the holy metropolis.

Late Thursday, the U.S. Embassy’s Workplace of Palestinian Affairs mentioned it was “concerned” that the spiritual web site was focused once more — the second time in a decade.

“Religious site vandalism by anyone is unacceptable,” the workplace mentioned. “Jerusalem must be a city for all of its people.”

Israeli police didn’t title the suspected vandals however mentioned they have been ages 18 and 14 and residents of central Israel. Safety digital camera footage of the assault confirmed two younger males sporting a Jewish skullcap and tzitzit, the knotted ritual fringes worn by observant Jews, knocking over crosses, breaking tombstones and throwing particles over the graves.

“Any damage to religious institutions and sites is serious and harms the unique and delicate fabric of life that exists in the city,” the police mentioned, describing the act as “intentional vandalism.” A Jerusalem courtroom on Friday held a listening to to increase the detention of the 2 youngsters.

The Anglican Church in Jerusalem has denounced the desecration as the newest hate crime concentrating on the Christian group in Jerusalem amid the decadeslong Israeli-Palestinian battle.

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