19:44 GMT19 January 2021
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    On Wednesday morning, the Levlov Synagogue in the central Jerusalem neighborhood of Nachlaot was vandalized: its holy books were charred and four swastikas were spray-painted on its walls in an apparent hate crime.

    An area search by local law enforcement revealed more swastikas painted on the entranceways of two apartment complexes.

    "It is unthinkable that worshipers come to a synagogue in the heart of the holy city and discover such a terrible sight," Chief Rabbi David Lau said, according to the Jerusalem Post. 

    Lau, along with fellow Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef and Religious Services Minister David Azoulai, said that such desecration cannot be tolerated, and encouraged police to do all they can to find the guilty party.

    "I’m calling on the law enforcement authorities to use all the means at their disposal and bring the desecrators of the synagogue to justice," Lau said, Jerusalem Online reported.

    In April there was a similar incident at one of the largest synagogues in the city of Petah Tikva.

    "I was horrified to hear about the disturbing act of vandalism committed in the Lelov study hall in Jerusalem. This is a serious attack against all of us. It is hard to believe that a terrible hate crime like this against religious Jews could take place in the heart of the State of Israel," said Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, according to Israel National News.

    A 38-year-old Jerusalem resident was arrested on suspicion of being involved in the vandalism on Wednesday.

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    Vandalism, synagogue, Jerusalem, Israel
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