A few hours before the start of Remembrance Day events, students of the AMIT high school in Beersheba arrived to class only to discover that vandals had desecrated a monument in memory of 16 fallen soldiers, alumni of the school.
Memorial plaques bearing the names of the fallen students were smashed and the memorial garden was vandalized.
According to a statement released by the AMIT educational system, Meir Assouline, whose son Doron was killed in the Gaza Strip six years ago, received a phone call from the school’s principal informing him that the memorial plaques were vandalized and that the name of his son was smashed.
“It’s shocking that someone did this. It is not possible that on a day like this, when we join together with the fallen soldiers of Israel, that there is this act of vandalism,” he said on Sunday.
Assouline said that last year vandals also destroyed the site. “They did not catch who did it then. They said it was a ‘nationalist event’ and left it at that.
“Last time they broke several plaques, including that of my son, but this time they really broke everything and it infuriates me. When such a thing happens in a mosque, even the president and prime minister and MKs condemn it, but when something like this happens a second time – nobody does anything,” he added.
School principal Elisha Peleg released a statement condemning the attack and offering comfort to the bereaved families.
“We are all deeply shocked and humiliated by the person who carried out this act. This is systematic destruction, a damage to the memory of the school’s 16 fallen,” he said.
“Tomorrow morning we will hold the school Remembrance Day ceremony with the bereaved families, and it is difficult to understand how there can be so much evil that would do such a thing. We can only embrace the families and say out loud that we will remember their loved ones and will not let the dastardly people who vandalized the memorial garden harm our memory of our alumni,” he added.
Police arrived on the scene to collect evidence and launched an investigation.
Beersheba station commander Moshe Yivgi said that this was a serious incident and that the police were investing all their available resources in the investigation.