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More than 30 gravestones damaged in Jerusalem Protestant cemetery

origin 1A general view shows the vandalized graves in a Protestant cemetery on Mount Zion. Notorious vandals desecrated a Protestant cemetery in Jerusalem, damaging more than 30 headstones, Israeli media reported. Saeed Qaq/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa

Unknown vandals desecrated a Protestant cemetery in Jerusalem, damaging more than 30 headstones, Israeli media reported.

Israel Radio on Wednesday reported considerable damage to the Zion cemetery, with damaged gravestones and broken crosses.

The Jerusalem Post, citing Jerusalem University College, reported that the perpetrators were two Jewish teenagers, saying the damages amounted to the equivalent of $99,700.

An Israeli police spokesman confirmed Wednesday that an investigation was underway, but did not comment on the identity of the suspects.

A video shared on social media showed two figures throwing large stones at graves and overturning a cross.

The incident reportedly took place on Sunday.

The cemetery, founded in 1848, also serves as a burial ground for Jerusalem’s German-speaking Protestant community. The German ambassador to Israel, Steffen Seibert, spoke on Twitter of “despicable criminal behavior” on the part of the perpetrators. “I hope the police investigate, find these kids and bring them to justice.”

The desecrated graves included those of three Palestinian police officers and members of various Protestant congregations, according to media reports, including Bishop Samuel Gobat, the second Protestant bishop of Jerusalem. He had bought the land for the cemetery.

The cemetery has already been desecrated and there have been previous incidents of hostility towards Christians in Jerusalem.

origin 1A general view shows the vandalized graves in a Protestant cemetery on Mount Zion. Notorious vandals desecrated a Protestant cemetery in Jerusalem, damaging more than 30 headstones, Israeli media reported. Saeed Qaq/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa
origin 1A felled cross lies in a Protestant cemetery on Mount Zion. Notorious vandals desecrated a Protestant cemetery in Jerusalem, damaging more than 30 headstones, Israeli media reported. Saeed Qaq/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa