Vandals sprayed anti-Christian graffiti on a monastery and a Christian cemetery in Jerusalem overnight, in two apparent “price-tag” attacks, police told AFP on Wednesday.
“Overnight, graffiti was sprayed on the gates of the entrance of the Armenian cemetery reading ‘Jesus is a son of a bitch’ in Hebrew, and on a monastery belonging to the Greek Orthodox saying the same thing,” police spokeswoman Luba Samri said.
Samri said the attackers also wrote “Happy Hannukah” and “price tag” at the second site, the Valley of the Cross monastery, and slashed the tyres of nearby cars.
“Price tag” is a euphemism for revenge hate crimes by Israeli extremists, which normally target Palestinians and Arabs.
Initially carried out in retaliation for state moves to dismantle unauthorised settler outposts, they have become increasingly unrelated to any specific government measures.
The attacks tend to involve the vandalism or destruction of Palestinian property and have included multiple arson attacks on cars, mosques and olive trees.
Perpetrators are rarely caught.
At first, the attacks were predominantly in the West Bank, but they have expanded over time to include sites inside Israel, and in Jerusalem. In recent months, Christian sites have been targeted as well.
Samri said a third apparent “price tag” attack had been reported in a West Bank village called Shukba, near the city of Ramallah, in which attackers set fire to a car and sprayed “price tag” and “happy holidays” nearby.
Police were investigating all three attacks, she said.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]