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Extremists vandalise old Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem

By Agencies - Feb 14,2013 - Last updated at Feb 14,2013

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — Suspected Jewish extremists scrawled anti-Arab graffiti on the headstones in an ancient Muslim cemetery in West Jerusalem, police and witnesses told AFP on Thursday.

The words “Price Tag” were also daubed in Hebrew on one of the 10 desecrated headstones, a slogan adopted by militant Jewish settlers who say they will exact retribution for any attempt by the Israeli government to curb settlement in the occupied West Bank, Reuters reported.

“Police are investigating and searching for suspects,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

An AFP correspondent at the scene said the vandals had also written “Mohammad is dead” and “Maale Rehavam” on the tombs some of which date back to the 12th century.

Price tag is a euphemism for hate crimes carried out by Israeli extremists which generally target Palestinians or Arabs and their property, according to AFP.

“Price Tag” attacks have targeted churches in Jerusalem and Palestinian mosques and homes and Israeli military installations in the West Bank, which with East Jerusalem is home to about 2.5 million Palestinians and half a million Jewish settlers, according to Reuters.

Such incident often take place in retaliation for Israeli government moves to dismantle unauthorised settler outposts, with Thursday’s vandalism apparently linked to the removal of six caravans from the Maale Rehavam outpost in the southern West Bank a day earlier, AFP reported.

The move sparked angry protests by settlers and their supporters in and around Jerusalem.

There have been several attacks on Mamilla graveyard, known in Arabic as Ma’man Allah cemetery, which dates from the 12th century and is the resting place of several Sufi saints.

Descendants of those interred in the West Jerusalem cemetery say it also houses the remains of soldiers and officials of legendary Muslim ruler Saladin.

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