TEL AVIV – A Jerusalem synagogue was vandalized overnight Sunday with crosses graffitied on the front door and window in a suspected hate crime.
“Crosses were spray-painted in black on the wall and windows of the synagogue,” police spokesperson Luba Samri said, adding that an investigation has been opened and police are searching for suspects.
There has been a wave of vandalism targeting Jewish religious buildings both in Israel and abroad in recent years.
In the French city of Marseilles last week, a vehicle carrying gas cylinders was found outside a Jewish community center.
Last year, a swastika was graffitied on a statue outside a 75-year-old synagogue in Olympia, Washington.
But in some cases in Israel, the vandalism was carried out by Jews.
In August, two Jewish teenagers were caught red-handed while they sprayed crosses on a synagogue in the central Israeli city of Petah Tikva.
In February, a Jewish man was arrested and charged with hanging a pig’s foot at the entrance of a synagogue in the southern city of Arad, apparently to protest the local ultra-Orthodox congregation’s use of a public shelter for prayer services.
In January, a synagogue in Tel Aviv, along with several other buildings in in the area, were spray-painted with a picture of Hitler’s face, and slogans including “Hitler was Jewish,” and “Heilike,” which seems to be a combination of “Heil” and Facebook’s “Like.” Police still have no suspects in the vandalism.
Wadie Abunassar, an adviser to the Catholic Church in the Holy Land, condemned Sunday night’s vandalism.
“All peoples should respect each other, especially the others’ holy sites,” he wrote on Facebook.