Anti-Christian graffiti was daubed on the Church of the Dormition, one of Occupied Jerusalem’s leading pilgrimage sites, early on Friday.
Police said they suspected Jewish religious extremists of spraying the Hebrew-language insults at the site, where tradition says the Virgin Mary died.
“The attack, suspected to be nationalistically motivated, was discovered on the wall of the Dormition Church in the Old City, and the tyres of cars nearby were slashed,” police officer, Micky Rosenfeld, said.
The words “price tag” and “Christians are apes” were scrawled in Hebrew on the walls of the church, Rosenfeld said, adding police were investigating the incident.
An AFP correspondent said “Jesus is a monkey” was also written on the door to the adjacent cemetery, part of the church complex.
“Price tag” is a euphemism for revenge hate crimes by Israeli extremists, which normally target Palestinians and Arabs.
Initially carried out in retaliation for state moves to dismantle unauthorised settler outposts, they have become increasingly unrelated to any specific government measures.
The attacks tend to involve the vandalism or destruction of Palestinian property and have included multiple arson attacks on cars, mosques and olive trees. Perpetrators are rarely caught. [AFP]