Police in Israel have arrested a man caught vandalizing a Christian church of religious significance. The Dormition Abbey, believed to be the place where the Virgin Mary died, was the site of the vandalism. A security guard caught a 21-year-old man who he said jumped over an exterior fence and began damaging a cross and a bench at the Abbey before he detained the man and called for local police. Spokesperson Mickey Rosenfeld gave an initial account of the incident.
Authorities are currently interrogating the vandal to determine his motives and possible connection to a group of Jewish extremists who have been responsible for similar attacks on religious sites over the past few years in Israel. The group in question has reportedly been making these attacks in retaliation against perceived pro-Palestinian governmental policies, and both Christian and Islamic sites have been targeted. No connection has yet to be reported, but the man remains in police custody at the moment. The preliminary report did not say how extensive the damage was, or the exact nature of the vandalism.
By Jim Malone
Image courtesy of Noam Chen, Israeli Ministry of Tourism – Flickr License