Anti-Christian graffiti was sprayed at the entrance to a church in Be'er Sheva's Old City on Friday, just two days before Pope Francis I is due to begin his tour of the Holy Land.
Police who arrived at the scene immediately began searching for the unknown suspects, who wrote "Jesus is a son of a bitch" on the wall surrounding the church in Rehov Ha'avot.
Brig. Gen. Peretz Amar, head of the Negev District, said that the police regard the incident as very serious and will make every effort to apprehend the perpetrators.
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The Be'er Sheva munisipality denounced the vandalism and a team of municipal workers managed to remove the graffiti.
Haaretz reported on Thursday that, in an unprecedented move, police issued administrative orders to four right-wing activists, preventing them from leaving their homes during the pope's visit. The orders were issued after police and the Shin Bet concluded that they had sufficient evidence that the four, three of whom are youths, were intending to disrupt the pope's visit.