Hate crime probe over 'Free Gaza' graffiti scrawled on Manhattan sukkah

The message, in black spray paint, was found Sunday morning on a sukkah in Carl Schurz Park on the Upper East Side.

October 2, 2018 13:22
1 minute read.
A 'plesant sukkah' in New Hampshire

A 'plesant sukkah' in New Hampshire. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


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New York (New York Daily News) -- A vandal scrawled the words “Free Gaza” on a sukkah in Manhattan over the weekend, prompting a police hate crime probe.

The message, in black spray paint, was found Sunday morning on a sukkah in Carl Schurz Park on the Upper East Side.

Sukkahs are temporary huts or shelters built to celebrate the week-long Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Orthodox families eat all of their meals and are encouraged to sleep in the huts to commemorate the types of shelters Jews used after they were freed from slavery in Egypt.

“Defacing a sukkah is unacceptable and an attack on our city’s values. If you have any information on this act of vandalism, please contact the NYPD,” Mayor de Blasio Tweeted Sunday.

The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the graffiti, a police spokesman said.

“Appalled by images of a vandalized sukkah in Carl Schurz Park in #NYC this morning,” the Anti Defamation League of New York and New Jersey wrote on its Twitter feed.

“Targeting a premises used for religious purposes during the #Jewish holiday of Sukkot is simply beyond the pale. Thankful to @NYPDnews for swiftly being on the scene & investigating,” the ADL said.

Cops ask anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.

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