Desecrated tombs on the Mount of Olives. (Hadas Parush/Flash90) (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Mount of Olives Palestinian vandalism
Mount of Olives vandalism

A firefighter extinguishes the flames at the Mount of Olives. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Palestinian vandals continue to desecrate Jewish tombstones on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem – this time smashing headstones and lighting a fire. Police plan to take tougher security measures.

Palestinian vandals smashed several Jewish tombstones Tuesday night on the Mount of Olives cemetery in Jerusalem in an apparent hate crime.

The section, which was hit for the second time, was set afire and several headstones were smashed. At least 10 graves were desecrated.

Trees and bushes in the vicinity were also set aflame in what the Fire Department describes as arson.

Rabbi Nathan Mileikowsky, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s paternal grandfather, is buried in the plot that was targeted.

Israel’s security forces have long been contending with Palestinian terrorists operating in the area who target mourners on a regular basis and desecrate burial sites.

The sacrilegious tradition of grave vandalism on the Mount goes back at least to the 1950s and 1960s, when the cemetery was occupied by Jordan. Jordan systematically desecrated graves at the cemetery and used the stones for construction.

Earlier this month, Members of the Knesset Interior Committee visiting the Mount of Olives called for higher security and an increased police presence.

Avshalom Peled, deputy commander of the force’s Jerusalem District, briefed the lawmakers on the various security measures that the police intend to adopt.

There is an average of 344 patrols on the Mount of Olives per month, Peled stated. The police opens a case for every incident reported.

In 2014, 37 cases were opened with 14 arrests and six indictments. So far, in 2015, 17 cases were opened and 11 people were arrested, but they were all released because they were minors, the Jerusalem Post reported.

“The problem is that most of those arrested are minors and we deal with them through their parents, who are brought in for investigation. The law doesn’t give a response,” Peled explained.

By: United with Israel Staff

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