Four Arab Youths Arrested for Vandalizing Mt. Olives Cemetery
Youths aged 15-16 from A-Tur are suspected of smashing 20 gravestones in the cemetery’s American Section in the past months.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 7/7/2011, 4:05 PM / Last Update: 7/7/2011, 3:57 PM
Israel National News; Archive
Investigators and detectives from the Central Unit of the Jerusalem Police have arrested four Arab youths aged 15-16 on suspicion of vandalizing tombstones in the American Section of the ancient Jewish cemetery at the Mount of Olives.
The policemen were aided by Border Police in carrying out the arrests. Three of the four suspects have admitted smashing about 20 tombstones at the site, and explained that they did so “because it is a Jews’ place.”
One of the suspects in already being tried for a similar offense in 2010.
Three suspects will be arraigned later Thursday and the fourth will be arraigned Friday.
Systematic desecration of the Mount of Olives cemetery has been going on for years and various steps taken to stop the attacks have proven unsuccessful.
According to statistics published by “One Jerusalem,” there was a spike in terror activity in eastern Jerusalem in January 2011, most of it centered around the Maaleh Zeitim neighborhood on the Mount of Olives.
Most of the attacks are rock ambushes against vehicles on Yericho Road (going east from Ras El Amoud) and vandalism at the cemetery. One third of the attacks take place at the part of the cemetery known as the “Gur Section,” for the Hassidic dynasty of Gur.