Act of Hate Against Christians in Israel: Crosses Toppled at Cemetery

© AP Photo / Vadim GhirdaPeople stand by fires they lit by a relative's grave in a cemetery during an Orthodox Palm Sunday memorial for the departed in Herasti, southern Romania, early Sunday, April 5, 2015
People stand by fires they lit by a relative's grave in a cemetery during an Orthodox Palm Sunday memorial for the departed in Herasti, southern Romania, early Sunday, April 5, 2015 - Sputnik International
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A Christian cemetery in an Israeli town west of Jerusalem has been vandalized and dozens of crosses were destroyed, the Latin Patriarchate reported on Saturday, calling on local authorities to find and punish the culprits.

Israeli border policemen check a Palestinian car at a checkpoint in Jabel Mukaber, in an area of the West Bank that Israel captured in a 1967 war and annexed to the city of Jerusalem October 14, 2015 - Sputnik International
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The vandalism at the Salesian monastery cemetery in Beit Jamal is believed to have been perpetrated by Jewish persons known to have previously desecrated Christian churches and cemeteries.

The Catholic church has not made a specific accusation against any person, but pointed out that the desecration is not the first of its kind. In September 1981, attackers destroyed the cemetery at the Beit Jamal monastery, run by the Salesian order.

Beit Jamal is a Catholic monastery located south of the town of Beit Shamesh, 35 kilometers from Jerusalem.

"Salesian fathers responsible for the monastery in Beit Jamal reported that unknown persons desecrated their monastery's cemetery," the patriarchate said in a statement.

"The fathers reported also that tens of crosses were destroyed at their cemetery," they said, condemning the December 30 attack.

Church officials urged "the police… and the Israeli authorities in general to invest every possible effort" to bring to justice those who violated a sanctuary against this and past desecrations.

"We do hope that more efforts be made to educate all inhabitants of the country to respect each other despite their different religious backgrounds," said the statement.

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