Late Thursday, the US embassy’s Palestinian Affairs Office said it was “concerned” that the religious site had been targeted again — the second time in a decade.
“Vandalism of religious sites by anyone is unacceptable,” the agency said. “Jerusalem must be a city for all its inhabitants.”
Israeli police did not name the suspected vandals, but said they were aged 18 and 14 and residents of central Israel. Security camera footage of the attack showed two young men wearing a Jewish skullcap and tzitzit, the knotted ritual fringes worn by observant Jews, knocking over crosses, breaking tombstones and throwing rubble over graves.
“Any damage to religious institutions and sites is serious and damages the unique and delicate fabric of life in the city,” police said, describing the act as “deliberate vandalism”. A court in Jerusalem held a hearing on Friday to extend the detention of the two teens.
The Anglican Church in Jerusalem has denounced the desecration as the latest hate crime against the Christian community in Jerusalem amid the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.