Israel Police in Jerusalem makes arrests after dozens of headstones & memorials were smashed on the Mount of Olives.
• One 22 yr-old suspect, denies allegations, but 2 minors admitted to detectives to defacing graves & went on to implicate additional suspects.
Detectives and investigators from the Jerusalem Central Investigative Unit of the Israel Police arrested on Monday three Arab residents of the A-Tor neighborhood in east Jerusalem suspected of vandalizing Jewish gravestones on the Mount of Olives.
The police launched the investigation after dozens of headstones were discovered, smashed.
The oldest suspect, a 22-year-old man, denied the allegations of vandalism, while two youth aged 15 and 12 admitted to damaging the gravestones. Investigators were told that the three suspects would visit the cemetery and use concrete blocks and stone fragments to break the gravestones and memorials.
The two minors also implicated additional people in the grave vandalism, and told the police about other instances of Jewish headstones being intentionally broken. The 22-year-old man and the 15-year-old boy were due to have their remand extended in a city court on Tuesday.
The Mount of Olives cemetery has been targeted by vandals repeatedly since tensions in Jerusalem began to climb following the kidnap and murder of three Jewish teens in late June and the brutal retaliatory murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir, 16. In late September, a police source reported that some headstones had been severely damaged, “as if someone had tried to shatter the entire grave.” The source said the extent of the damage indicated that the perpetrators had “spent several hours” at the cemetery.
The Border Police also reported that masked men had tried to damage some of the security cameras installed at the cemetery.
View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=21201