Vandals scrawl 'Death to the Jews' on synagogues in Safed

03:00 Oct 12 2011 Safed, Upper Galilee, Israel

Vandals scrawl 'Death to the Jews' on synagogues in Safed
Safed mayor calls on public to exercise restraint, says incident does not represent ties between Jews and Arabs in the northern city.

By Eli Ashkenazi for Haaretz

Unknown vandals scrawled "Death to the Jews" on four synagogues and a vehicle in the northern city of Safed on Tuesday night.

Police have opened an investigation and are searching for the perpetrators.

"This is an unusual phenomenon, which does not characterize the nature of the relationship between Jews and Arabs in Safed," said Safed Mayor Ilan Shohat. "Just as we condemn the desecration of Islamic holy sites, so we condemn despicable acts like this."

Shohat called upon the public to exercise restraint and allow the police to investigate the incident.

Last week, two cemeteries in Jaffa, one Muslim and the other Christian, were vandalized by graffiti that said “Death to the Arabs”, and “Price Tag”.

Earlier last week, the mosque in the northern village of Tuba-Zanghariyya, a Bedouin town of some 5,500 people two kilometers east of Rosh Pina, was vandalized. The mosque's interior was seriously damaged, and many holy books were destroyed by the blaze.

Police suspect that extreme right-wing Jews carried out the arson in Tuba-Zanghariyya as a "price tag" operation, referring to vandalism and revenge actions initiated by activists, usually against Palestinians, following terror attacks or state demolitions in settlements or outposts.
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