Rome Israel news photo: Flash 90

A Rome court on Tuesday convicted six men of spreading pro-fascist and anti-Semitic ideas with banners, posters and graffiti in the Italian capital, according to The Associated Press (AP).

A 1993 law forbids use of slogans, gestures and actions evoking Nazi and fascist ideologies or inciting racial hatred.

Sentences for the convictions ranged from one and a half years to eight months. A seventh defendant was acquitted.

Two of those sentenced had previously been convicted in a separate case of attempting to re-establish the Fascist party, the legacy of 20th-century dictator Benito Mussolini.

Rome Jewish community spokesman Fabio Perugia welcomed the verdict and said it rendered a "clear-cut condemnation of neo-fascism and of all racist and xenophobic cultures."

The graffiti and posters targeting the city's tiny Jewish community and its leaders were spotted in several neighborhoods from 2008-2011, noted AP.

Anti-Semitism has been on the rise in Europe in recent years and particularly reared its ugly head in the wake of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza last summer.

During the operation, there were attacks on synagogues and Jewish businesses in France, as well as violent anti-Semitic demonstrations in Germany, where an imam in Berlin called on Muslims to "kill Zionist Jews."

In July, anti-Semitic graffiti and swastikas appeared across Rome, referring to the escalating violence in Gaza and including taunts such as "Jews, the end is near."

Six months earlier, boxes containing pigs' heads were sent to the Israeli embassy in Rome and the city's synagogue.