Christian cemetery vandalized on Mount Zion in Jerusalem
Police say many tombstones damaged at Protestant graveyard owned by Anglican church; video shows apparently Jewish men smashing the gravestones
Many tombstones were damaged Tuesday by unknown vandals at the Protestant Mount Zion Cemetery in Jerusalem, the Israel Police said.
Police said in a statement that officers arrived at the scene after receiving a report of vandalism. Photos handed out by police showed toppled gravestones and broken masonry.
Security camera video shared on social media showed two apparently Jewish men wearing kippot pulling over tombstones or dropping rocks and masonry on graves to damage them.
The video was dated Sunday at 3.25 p.m. Israel time.
וידאו, שני יהודים משחיתים קברים בבית הקברות הפרוטסטנטי בהר ציון, אתמול. pic.twitter.com/NnCBvGkL6U
— نير حسون Nir Hasson ניר חסון (@nirhasson) January 3, 2023
Samuel Gobat, then-Bishop of Jerusalem, opened the cemetery in 1848. It is now owned by the Church Missionary Trust Association Ltd, an Anglican organization.
There have been numerous incidents in recent years of vandalism at Christian sites across the country, which Church officials blame on Jewish extremists.
In December 2021, Christian leaders in the Holy Land warned that their communities are under threat of being driven from the region by extremist Israeli radical groups, and called for dialogue on preserving their presence.
Patriarchs and heads of churches in Jerusalem issued a joint statement similarly warning of the danger posed by radical groups they said are aiming at “diminishing the Christian presence.”
Extremist Jewish activists have for years carried out vandalism against Christian sites in Jerusalem and other areas of Israel, including hate graffiti and arson. The extremists also target Palestinians.