Police arrest Jewish teens suspected of vandalizing Jerusalem monastery


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Two Jewish teenagers suspected of vandalizing a Jerusalem monastery with anti-Christian graffiti have been arrested.

The suspects, a 16-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy, were arrested and questioned on Wednesday before appearing in Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court. The graffiti was discovered on Saturday night at Dormition Abbey, located on Mount Zion just outside the Old City of Jerusalem.

The arrests came after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for a speeded-up investigation to find the culprits.

The graffiti, written in Hebrew, included: “Christians to Hell,” “May his name be obliterated,” and “Death to the heathen Christians the enemies of Israel.”

Anti-Christian graffiti was previously painted on the Benedictine abbey’s walls in 2013 and 2012. Pope Francis celebrated mass at the abbey during a visit in 2014.

The abbey is believed to be the site where the Virgin Mary died. It is located next to the site considered to be the tomb of King David.

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