Suspects admit to defacing monument

Two Jerusalemites won't explain why they vandalized memorial for 270 troops.

By ETGAR LEFKOVITS
July 25, 2007 16:49
1 minute read.
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Two Jewish suspects were arrested Wednesday for allegedly desecrating a Jerusalem military monument dedicated to fallen IDF soldiers, police said. The monument, located in a city community center in the Katamonim neighborhood, was found covered with posters of swastikas, anti-Supreme Court slogans and quotes from the Book of Psalms on Tuesday. The two suspectsa, religious Jews aged 55 and 58, have confessed to desecrating the site but have refused to explain their motive, Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said. A search of their home uncovered identical posters to the ones that were erected on the memorial site on Tuesday, he added. The two men, who are city residents, told police that they plan to write a letter of apology to the bereaved parents, police said. The august memorial is dedicated to the memory of 270 neighborhood residents who fell in battle since the creation of the state, and is used for memorial services throughout the year. The vandalism, which was discovered by community center workers on Tuesday morning, came as Israel and Jews around the world marked Tisha Be'av, the most mournful day on the Jewish calendar commemorating the destruction of two biblical Jewish temples. According to Jewish tradition, the Second Temple was destroyed in the Jewish Revolt against the Romans nearly 2,000 years ago because of the sin of "causeless hatred" among the Jewish people. The director of the local community center, Avi Nuriel, said Tuesday that he was shocked and deeply saddened by the vandalism. "When such an event happens specifically on Tisha Be'Av, a day of soul-searching over causeless hatred, the feeling of insult and injury is only exacerbated," Nuriel said. A ceremony was planned at the site on Wednesday evening in light of the incident. The names of the suspects apprehended by police were not immediately released for publication. The two suspects were being questioned at Jerusalem police headquarters Wednesday afternoon. They were expected to be brought to a Jerusalem court for a remand hearing within 24 hours.

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