JAFFA, October 9, 2011 (WAFA) – Sectarian tension is rising in the coastal city Jaffa, twin city of Tel Aviv, following the vandalism of Muslim and Christian cemeteries on Friday night in a suspected “price tag” attack by extremist Jews.
The extremists destroyed graves and wrote racist slogans such as “death to Arabs” and “price tag,” slogans associated with Jewish settlers’ attacks on Palestinian villages in the West Bank.
Dozens of Jaffa’s Arab and Jewish residents protested Saturday night against the attack, demanding from Israeli police to arrest and prosecute the assailants.
The vandalism drew wide condemnation by Israeli, Arab and religious figures such as Israeli President Shimon Peres, Mayor of Tel Aviv Ron Huldai, and the chief rabbi of the city.
“It’s an unforgivable crime. All red lines have been crossed in Israel; first the mosque arson in Tuba-Zangaria and now the desecration of Muslim and Christian cemeteries,” said Jaffa councilman Ahmed Mashharawi.
Israeli police announced its ongoing investigation of the incident in Jaffa, especially after its earlier statement that it will raise the security level around holy Muslim sites following the mosque arson in Galilee earlier this month.