Molotov Cocktail Thrown at Jaffa Synagogue; Hundreds Protest 'Price Tag' Attack on Cemeteries

No casualties were reported in synagogue attack; protesters chant 'no to racism' after Muslim and Christian cemeteries were defaced with racist slogans over the weekend.

A Molotov cocktail was thrown Saturday evening at the roof of Rabbi Meir Ba'al Hanes synagogue in Jaffa. The building was empty at the time and there were no reports of casualties. Firefighters, police and medical teams were rushed to the scene.

The incident comes a day after two cemeteries, one Muslim and the other Christian, were vandalized by graffiti that said “Death to the Arabs”, and “price tag”. Headstones were smashed and racist slogans were spray-painted on graves.

price tag jaffa - Daniel Bar-On - October 8, 2011
Daniel Bar-On

About 200 Arab and Jewish Jaffa residents rallied on Saturday night in protest of the desecration, calling for an end to violence and racism.

Earlier on Saturday, Israeli President Shimon Peres condemned the cemetery incidents, calling the acts "a criminal act that dishonors us and is opposed to the ethical values of Israeli society." In a statement released by the president's office, Peres called on law authorities to do "their utmost" to catch the criminals and bring them to justice as soon as possible.

President of the Islamic Movement in Jaffa, Sheikh Ahme Abu Ajwa, said, “This is an attempt by extremists to incite the Arab masses,” calling for calm. United Arab List-Ta’al party leader MK Ibrahim Sarsur called upon the perpetrators, whoever they may be, “to end the racist attacks.”

Recently, there have been numerous attacks on Muslim places of worship in Israel and the West Bank. A mosque was burned in the Galilee Bedouin village of Tuba-Zangariyya on Sunday night. The entire interior of the mosque went up in flames, causing heavy damage, and holy books inside the mosque were burned. Graffiti with the words “price tag” was found on the wall of the mosque.