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Man charged over swastika graffiti at British military cemetery in Haifa

Suspect, 35, also accused of daubing Nazi symbols on local kindergarten, supermarket, sexually harassing female police officers

Vandalized graves in a British military cemetery in Haifa, October 11, 2019. (Commonwealth War Graves Commission)
Vandalized graves in a British military cemetery in Haifa, October 11, 2019. (Commonwealth War Graves Commission)

Prosecutors in the northern city of Haifa on Wednesday filed hate crime charges against a man accused of daubing swastikas on graves at a local cemetery for British casualties of World War I and World War II.

According to the charge sheet, the 35-year-old suspect from northern Israel also uprooted two gravestones at the Haifa War Cemetery and adjacent Templar cemetery during the October 2019 incident, in addition to defacing dozens of British soldiers’ graves with the Nazi symbol.

He was further charged with daubing swastikas on the walls of a supermarket in Kiryat Yam, on a kindergarten in Kiryat Chaim and on an electrical structure in February.

The indictment also accuses him of sexually harassing and threatening female police officers at a local station.

The suspect was not identified.

A vandalized gravestone in a British military cemetery in Haifa, October 11, 2019. (Commonwealth War Graves Commission)

More than 300 soldiers who fought in the region in World War I are buried in the cemetery, 86 of whom are unidentified, alongside 36 casualties of World War II, according to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Most of the soldiers died in area hospitals, and some were killed on the battlefield.

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