Graves of Rabbi Elazar Abuhatzeira, others desecrated

"In the afternoon, someone was seen walking around the tombs and apparently spray-painted four crosses on some of them."

Stones placed in remembrance lie on grave tablets on the Mount of Olives Jewish cemetary as the sun sets in Jerusalem (photo credit: LASZLO BALOGH/ REUTERS)
Stones placed in remembrance lie on grave tablets on the Mount of Olives Jewish cemetary as the sun sets in Jerusalem
(photo credit: LASZLO BALOGH/ REUTERS)
Several graves, including that of the late Rabbi Elazar Abuhatzeira, on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem were desecrated on Tuesday afternoon by a mentally ill Jewish Israeli.
The perpetrator of the desecration was immediately apprehended, and is now under interrogation by the police.
"I received a video from worshipers who were [near the tombs], and I was shocked to the depths of my soul,"Mount of Olives cemetery council chairman Tzuriel Krispel told Behadrei Haredim.
"I acted immediately and passed the documentation to the police commander in charge of the Mount of Olives. It is important to note that due to the place being well lit, cameras immediately captured the mentally ill person who desecrated the place," he continued.
The most notable of the graves that were desecrated belonged to Abuhatzeira, a noted Sephardi rabbi and kabbalist, who was the grandson of the famous Moroccan-Israeli kabbalist and Sephardi spiritual leader Israel Abuhatzeira, also known as the Baba Sali.
After he moved to Israel from Morocco in the 1960s, Abuhatzeira soon moved to Beersheba. where he operated a yeshiva. He was known for his particular form of dress, wearing a hooded cloak allegedly to avoid seeing immodestly dressed women. He also made a name for himself for granting spiritual advice to noted political and business figures.
Abuhatzeira died in 2011 at the age of 62
when he was stabbed to death during a private audience by a man who was supposedly dissatisfied with marital advice he received from the rabbi. The killer, 42-year-old Asher Dahan, was later sent for psychiatric examination by the court.

"It is shocking to think that a mentally ill man murdered Rabbi Elazar, and now another mentally ill man desecrated his grave."
When asked how this kind of events can be prevented in the future, Krispel told Behadrei Haredim that a lot of important actions meant to be taken regarding the protection and preservation of the Month of Olives were delayed because the state budget was not approved for so long.
He added that this attack was a result of the lack of actions undertaken due to the lack of budget.
"It makes me very sad that this attack happened under my shift, as I was very close to the late Rabbi Elazar for many years," Krispel concluded in pain.
These sentiments were also expressed by Shas MK Uriel Busso.
"In response to the desecration of the graves, the immediate action that should take place is to increase security at the site," Busso said in a statement.
The Mount of Olives police commander said in response to the desecration of the tomb that "In the afternoon, someone was seen walking around the tombs and apparently spray-painted four crosses on some of them. The suspect, a Jew, apparently someone who suffered mentally illness,  was located and is now under interrogation by the police."