19:25 GMT +320 August 2019
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    A young girl holds a bearing images of the Israeli and Palestinian flags during a Israeli left-wing activist rally demanding fresh Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the killing of late Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, at the Rabin Square in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv on October 24, 2015.

    Israeli Man Arrested For Scrawling Swastika on Rabin Statue in Tel Aviv (PHOTO)

    © AFP 2019 / Jack Guez GUEZ
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    On Tuesday morning, a 43-year-old Israeli man was arrested for vandalizing a statue of former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in downtown Tel Aviv.

    According to police, the unidentified suspect, scribbled a swastika and what appears to be a reference to the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust on the statue, but he appears to have mis-quantified the grisly total.

    The words "Danke, 600,000,000" ("Thank you" in German) were scrawled on Rabin's bust; the suspect was found passed out and intoxicated at 9 a.m. a few hundred meters from the statue in Rabin Square, a large public city square where Rabin was shot and killed in 1995. He had two knives and writing materials with him.

    "Police units arrived in the area shortly after the incident took place and found the suspect, who was apparently under the influence of alcohol, nearby with two knives," according to Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, the Jerusalem Post reported.

    "There was damage caused to the statue due to the graffiti, and the man was taken to the police station where he is being questioned," he added.

    On November 4, 1995, Rabin was shot by Yigal Amir, a far-right activist, after the signing of the Oslo Accords, a set of agreements between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. The Oslo Accords laid the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state, which far-right nationalists like Amir saw as capitulation to Palestinian resistance and protests in the West Bank and Gaza.

    The assassination of Rabin sent shockwaves through Israel, as its citizens were compelled to reflect on the nationalist campaigning and ardent slogans directed at Rabin before his death. In November 2017, Amir began his retrial, in which he plans to prove that the bullets fired from his gun did not cause Rabin's death. 

    Many governments, including Israel's, prohibit the display of Nazi symbols.

    Last week, a 32-year-old German man was sentenced to 18 months in prison for posting a picture of a miniature of the Auschwitz death camp on Facebook with an offensive caption.


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