A Jewish cemetery in Argentina was vandalized over the weekend, shortly before the start of the Rosh Hashanah holiday.
The Argentinian Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) said the vandalism took place Saturday at the cemetery in La Tablada, a city in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area.
Part of the cemetery’s exterior wall was knocked down, a number of tombstones were damaged and bronze plaques on some of the graves were stolen, according to AMIA.
The head of AMIA condemned the vandalism and called on authorities to investigate, as did the Delegation of Argentine Jewish Associations (DAIA).
— AMIA (@InfoAMIA) September 29, 2019
The incident also occurred less than 24 hours after AMIA received a letter from La Matanza government informing it that due to staff cuts, there would be reduced service providing police protection at the cemetery at night.
“From the [AMIA] institution we send our complaint to the highest authorities of the municipality and the Ministry of Security of Buenos Aires, so that what happened is investigated in depth and we demand that measures be immediately taken to ensure it will not happen again,” said Ariel Eichbaum, president of AMIA.
Argentina, home to some 180,000 Jews, has seen a number of instances of anti-Semitic violence in recent months and there is growing concern about the wave among Jewish leaders. In February, nine gravestones were vandalized in the Jewish cemetery of San Luis province.
JTA contributed to this report.