Jerusalem (AsiaNews) - Another act of vandalism against a Christian building in Israel. This time the extremist groups targeted the Beit Jimal cemetery of the Salesian monastery in Beit Shemesh, a town of about 94 thousand inhabitants situated 30 kilometers west of Jerusalem. Local sources said that the attack dates back to mid-December, but came to light only in recent days in response to a complaint filed with the police.
According to witnesses, unknown assailants entered the grounds of the cemetery, located about 500 meters away from the monastery. The vandals burned several wooden crosses present on the graves, then threw them on the ground.
The police in Beit Shemesh was informed of the facts on December 30 last year and launched an investigation.
The monastery of Beit Jimal, is a Catholic place of worship led by the Salesians and in the past has been the target of previous of attacks. The first dates back to September 27, 1981, when vandals burned at least thirty wooden crosses; the last took place in 2013, part of the "price tag" attacks, when the central part of the monastery was hit by incendiary bombs and the walls of the building defaced by writing "death to the Gentiles" and "revenge".
In the recent past Jewish extremists and settlers have targeted several religious sites. In recent years others places of worship have been attacked, including the church near the Upper Room, the Basilica of Nazareth, as well as other Catholic and Greek-Orthodox places of worship.
Muslim mosques and places of worship have also been targeted in what Israeli extremists call a "price tag" on Christians and Muslims for having "taken away their land."
Once such actions were limited only to areas on the border with the West Bank and in Jerusalem, but now have spread too much of Israel.