“Death to Arabs” and “Givat Asaf” – the name of a West Bank settlement outpost that is slated for demolition – were spray painted on the gravestones in the Bamamila Cemetery, next to the Jerusalem Museum of Tolerance.
It is still not known who is responsible for the desecration of the gravestones, or even exactly when it took place.
A month ago, on Yom Kippur, graves were desecrated with anti-Arab graffiti in two cemeteries in Jaffa, Christian and Muslim.
Police arrested a 21-year-old on Wednesday on suspicion of spray-painting ‘price tag’ and anti-Arab slogans, and on suspicion of being behind a false a bomb scare at the offices of left-wing political activists Peace Now. The young man had already being arrested in the past after he rang the doorbell of Yariv Oppenheimer, head of Peace Now, and threatened to harm him.
After police interrogated the man over the threats he uttered, he was released. A Jerusalem court remanded the man for another six days on Wednesday.
The man took responsibility for some of the crimes attributed to him at the beginning of his interrogation, including causing damage to the car of an Arab. He said that he did it because he “hates Arabs and hates Leftists.” But later he retracted his confession, and he is currently denying all accusations made against him.
The man’s lawyer, Shaul Ezra, claims that his client’s confession is inadmissible because it was extracted by force. Even when he confessed to some acts at first, the young man denied that accusation that he was responsible for spray-painting graffiti at the home of Hagit Ofran, the Settlement Watch Committee of Peace Now.
Israel Police Commander Yohanan Danino vowed to Peace Now activists on Wednesday that the police was taking every measure to ensure their security and apprehend those responsible for the attacks.
The police struck out in court in another incident that had triggered suspicions of being a ‘price tag’ attack. The police believed that they had enough evidence against three suspects who were caught in Wadi Ara soon after the murder of a family in the West Bank settlement of Itamar, carrying bottles of propane.
The three men claimed in court that they were on their way to visit the graves of Jewish saints and had taken propane will them in the event of an emergency.
(www.australiansforpalestine.net / 10.11.2011)