Video of Jewish Graves Being Vandalized in Israeli Village Circulates on TikTok

Almog Ben Zikri
Almog Ben Zikri
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Jewish cemeteries vandalized in Moshav Nevatim in Israel's Negev desert, January 13, 2020.
Jewish cemeteries vandalized in Moshav Nevatim in Israel's Negev desert, January 13, 2020.Credit: Yochai
Almog Ben Zikri
Almog Ben Zikri

A video of young men vandalizing a Jewish cemetery in Israel’s Negev desert circulated on TikTok on Wednesday.

Residents of moshav Nevatim who saw the clip – in which young men can be seen shattering and knocking down gravestones – recognized the cemetery and went to the police, who then opened an investigation.

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The police arrested a minor from one of a Bedouin community in the area of the moshav on Thursday morning on suspicion of being involved in the vandalism. They are now looking for another suspect, a Palestinian from the West Bank.

Yoel Batlavi, a resident of Nevatim, told Haaretz that this is not the first time graves in the moshav have been vandalized, but this time the damages were greater than in previous incidents. Five gravestones were damaged, as well as ornamental trees and pottery jars. Batlavi said the police should allocate more ressources to deal with the recurring problem.

Nir Zemer, the head of the Bnei Shimon Regional Council that includes Nevatim, said the moshav, “like other places in the Negev, has suffered for a long time from repeated violent incidents, property damage, break-ins, thefts and attacks on the community’s team of guards. Now we also see shocking case of vandalized graves.” Zemer said the police must allocate the necessary resources to deal with the problem.

“We take such deplorable vandalism and acts of thuggery very seriously,” the police said. After seeing the video, the police said they opened the investigation to find those involved and bring them to justice.

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