Jerusalem monument to fallen soldiers defaced

A Jerusalem military monument dedicated to fallen IDF soldiers was desecrated with swastikas on Tuesday, police said, on the day when Jews around the world marked the destruction of the two ancient Jewish Temples. The monument, located in a city community center in the Katamonim neighborhood, was found covered with swastikas, anti-Supreme Court slogans and quotes from the Book of Psalms, officials said. The august memorial is dedicated to the memory of 270 neighborhood residents who have fallen in battle since the state was founded, and is a setting for memorial services throughout the year. The vandalism, which was discovered by community center workers Tuesday morning, comes as Israel and Jews around the world marked Tisha Be'av, the date that commemorates the destruction of the Second Temple. According to Jewish tradition, the Temple was destroyed in the Jewish revolt against the Romans in 70 CE and is said to have been the result of "baseless hatred" among the Jewish people. Community center director Avi Nuriel said 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. Police were investigating the incident.