Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem vandalized


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A historic Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem was vandalized in an apparent "price tag" attack.

Stars of David, as well as the phrases "death to Arabs" and "Mohammed is dead," were discovered spray painted on gravestones in the Mamilla Cemetery in central Jerusalem on Thursday, according to reports.

The cemetery dates back to at least the 11th century, and was an active burial site up until 1927. Part of the cemetery was turned into a parking lot in 1964. 

The attack comes a day after the demolition of several homes in the West Bank outpost of Ma’aleh Rehavam in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc.

Fifteen gravestones were vandalized in the same cemetery in a November 2011 attack.

"Price tag" refers to the strategy that extremist settlers and their supporters have adopted to exact retribution for settlement freezes and demolitions or Palestinian attacks on Jews.

The cemetery was at the center of controversy over the site of the planned Museum of Tolerance. Skeletons were exhumed from the building site adjacent to the cemetery and reburied in order to prepare the ground for construction of the museum, according to reports. Construction had been delayed on the museum from its groundbreaking in 2004 until final approval in 2011.

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