Four Israeli Youths Arrested on Suspicion of Vandalizing Christian Cemetery in Haifa

Over the past two weeks a number of gravestones have been damaged — also at the city’s World War I cemetery

The Haifa Christian Templer cemetery where gravestones were vandalized, July 2017.
Israel Police

Four teens have been arrested on suspicion of vandalizing gravestones at Haifa’s Christian Templer cemetery and have been brought to court in that northern coastal city.

The Templers, a religious society founded in Germany, built colonies in Jerusalem, Haifa, Jaffa and elsewhere in the Holy Land in the middle of the 19th century.

Over the past two weeks a number of gravestones have been damaged at both the Templer cemetery and the city’s World War I cemetery. The police conducted undercover operations in the area before making their arrests.

On Wednesday night, three 16-year-olds, one boy and two girls, were arrested after they were unable to account for their presence at the site. They have since been released to house arrest after appearing in court Friday. Police youth investigators arrested another teen on suspicion he was involved.

The police said they view the incidents as a serious affront to religious sensitivities, and they would pass on the material to prosecutors once they had completed their investigation.