Molotov cocktail hits Jaffa synagogue, none injured
LAST UPDATED: 10/08/2011 22:11
Attack comes after hate graffiti found in Muslim, Christian cemeteries; Police: Vandalism not necessarily "price-tag" linked; Jaffa Arabs protest.
Graffiti is seen on a gravestone in Jaffa cemetery Photo: REUTERS
after far-right-wing graffiti was reported to police in Muslim and
Christian cemeteries in Jaffa, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a
synagogue in the area on Saturday. The projectile struck the roof of the Rabbi Meir
synagogue in the city. No damage or injuries were reported in the
Earlier on Saturday night, police said that
graffiti was found spray painted in cemeteries in Jaffa, but later said they were not convinced the
graffiti was actually spray-painted by right-wing extremists.
Suspect arrested in Tuba Zanghariya mosque torching
Police had beefed up presence in Jaffa and held talks with community leaders to try and reduce the likelihood of more attacks or vandalism.
The messages "price tag" and
"death to Arabs" were written on the tombstones. However, police later
reported that the slogan "death to Russians - G.A. 02" was also spray
painted in the cemetery, adding that this graffiti was "linked to a
Police denied media reports that some 25 graves were damaged in the incident.
"We have not seen any smashed stones," a Tel Aviv police spokeswoman told The Jerusalem Post.
"An investigation is underway," she added.
is not a new incident. We believe it occurred several days ago," she
said. "The graffiti has been erased."
The head of the Islamic Movement
in Jaffa, Sheikh Ahmed Abu Ajawa, told Channel 10 news that he had issued a
call to all Arab groups in the city to "act with caution and avoid
being dragged into a violent response."
He described the incident as "an attempt by an extremist group to blackmail the Arab masses in the city."
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said police were looking "at a number
of possibilities" regarding the cemetery defacement.
A separate investigation is underway into the Molotov cocktail attack, he added.
On Saturday night, around 200 people took part in a protest in the Ajami neighborhood of Jaffa against the vandalism.
of the Ajami neighborhood committee in Jaffa, Kamal Agbariya, said
Saturday night, “this is a terrible and offensive action to desecrate a
cemetery, but we say that the writing was on the wall. There were two
cases in the past month where people wrote “death to Arabs” on walls in
Jaffa and probably people saw that there was no response from the police
so they did it again.”
Agbariya called on police to act against
the vandalism and said that Jaffa residents would visit the police
headquarters on Salameh street in South Tel Aviv on Sunday to demand
that they take further actions to prevent such incidents from happening
Throughout the rally, protesters chanted against
“settlers” and “fascists” and pointed an accusatory finger at the
Netanyahu government, which they claimed is not taking enough actions
against Jewish extremism.
Tel-Aviv Jaffa city councilman Sami
Abu-Shehada blamed the government for not taking what he said were
strong enough steps against such actions, saying “the government gives
these people a green light to commit such acts. If people were to pay a
serious price after the first price tag operation, it wouldn’t happen
On Thursday, police announced the arrest of a yeshiva student from
northern Israel on suspicion of being behind an arson attack on a mosque
in a Beduin village in the Galilee.
A night of rioting broke out in the village of Tuba Zanghariya after the
incident, followed by waves of arrests of suspected rioters.