Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday condemned two “price-tag” vandalism acts carried out overnight in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
In an act apparently perpetrated by Jewish extremists, Hebrew graffiti was sprayed on a wall of the Monastery of the Cross in the capital and three cars in the parking lot had their tires slashed.
In a separate incident, several Palestinian-owned cars were torched in a West Bank village north of Ramallah. “Price tag” graffiti was found at the scene.
“The Jewish values on which we were reared, and according to which we educate our children, forbid us from any such behavior,” Netanyahu said in a statement.
“Israel will uphold freedom of worship for all religions, and we’ll prosecute to the fullest extent of the law the lowlifes who perpetrated this crime.”
The graffiti in Jerusalem included the slogans “price tag,” “Happy Hannukah, victory for the Maccabees” and “Jesus — son of a whore.”
It was the second time in the past year that the monastery, built in the 11th century, had been targeted by “price tag” activists.
The graffiti was cleaned up by Jerusalem municipality workers.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat also condemned the vandalism.
“We cannot abide such extreme, deplorable phenomena whose sole purpose is to damage coexistence in Jerusalem, and they must be eradicated,” Barkat said.
The monastery’s abbot, Father Claudio, said the damage was “very upsetting,” but that the monastery was nonetheless still a “symbol of peace.”
“We believe in peace, and I forgive those who did this, this time and also the first time,” he said, before wishing “everyone a happy Hannukah.”
Authorities opened investigations into both incidents.