cemetery (illustration)
cemetery (illustration)iStock

Belgian police have launched an investigation after 85 Jewish graves were vandalized in the city of Charleroi, with Stars of David emblems stolen from the gravestones. Only graves in the Jewish section of the cemetery were vandalized, indicating an antisemitic hate crime.

The damage was discovered by a gravedigger in the cemetery on Wednesday.

Charleroi Mayor Paul Magnette said: "The place chosen and the theft of many Stars of David leave little doubt on the anti-Semitic nature of the intentions."

"In the name of the city, I fully condemn these abject acts," he added.

Following the desecration of Jewish graves and the increase in the number of antisemitic crimes in Belgium, as in other European countries, the Belgian police increased the protection of Jewish institutions, especially synagogues and schools.

There have been multiple cases of vandalization of Jewish graves in cemeteries around the world since the Hamas massacre of over 1,200 people in southern Israel on October 7 and the subsequent war between Israel and Hamas.