Vandals scrawl Nazi swastikas on graves and kick over dozens of headstones at British and Commonwealth cemetery in Israel
- Many of the defaced graves were in the Jewish section of the Hafia War cemetery in Israel
- The war cemetery is final resting place for more than 300 who served during WWI and WWII
- Other graves at war cemeteries in Belfast and Eindhoven also vandalised in recent weeks
Vandals have daubed Nazi swastikas on graves at a British and Commonwealth cemetery in Israel.
Almost every grave has been defaced with red spray paint, while some of the headstones have been kicked over in a wanton act of vandalism.
Staff at the cemetery in Hafia were stunned to discover the vandalism that took place overnight.
A number of the gravestones of the more than 300 British and Commonwealth servicemen were kicked over and defaced with red spray paint
A monument in the centre of the cemetery in Hafia was defaced with numerous nazi symbols around the surface of its circular circumference. Police are investigating the act of vandalism which comes weeks after similar attacks in at least two other war cemeteries in Europe
Special police officers escort Stephan Balliet from a helicopter to his arraignment at the Federal Supreme Court in Karlsruhe, Germany, 10 October 2019
It is the latest attack of war graves of British and Commonwealth servicemen in the last few months and follows just days after an anti-Semitic gunman shot two people dead in Halle, Germany on Wednesday.
Gunman, Stephan Balliet, 27, has since confessed his intent to commit at massacre at a Jewish synagogue on Yom Kippur was motivated by anti-Semitism and right-wing extremism.
A cemetery in Belfast was vandalised earlier this week and another in Holland also daubed with Nazi symbols in the build up to 75th anniversary celebrations of D-Day
A spokesman for the War Grave Commission has condemned the ‘hugely distressing’ act of vandalism. Teams are on site fixing the damage to the graves at the Hafia War Cemetery in Israel. A number of the graves, many in the Jewish section of the cemetery, could be seen with red swastikas scrawled across their surfaces
Three-hundred-and-five of the Commonwealth burials are men who served in the First World War. Eighty-six of those buried at the war cemetery remain unidentified, while a further 36 burials belong to soldiers killed in the Second World War
Shocking pictures from the cemetery in Haifa show the scale of the vandalism with each of the graves targeted.
Many have been daubed with the swastika while others have been sprayed with red paint.
Several of the tombstones have been daubed with paint and over 30 kicked over.
Many of the wrecked headstones are in the Jewish section of the cemetery in the Northern Israeli town.
Police in Haifa have launched an investigation into the vandalism.
Members of the War Grave Commission are on site cleaning and police officers have been called in to investigate the vandalism
The Commonwealth War Graves spokesman said he was dismayed by the act of vandalism and said such ‘shameful acts’ would not detract from its commemoration of the war dead
The Haifa War Cemetery contains 305 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, 86 of them unidentified. There are also 36 burials of soldiers killed in the Second World War.
A spokesman for the War Grave Commission said it was ‘hugely distressing’ but said teams were already removing the graffiti
The spokesman said: ‘The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) is dismayed by an act of vandalism to Haifa War Cemetery in Israel, in which slogans and graffiti were spray-painted across many of the headstones.
‘The incident has been reported to the authorities and CWGC staff are on site to remove the graffiti and restore the cemetery to its traditional high standard.
‘CWGC is grateful for all the messages of support and would like to reassure our public that we will never allow such shameful acts to detract from our commemoration of the war dead.
Almost every single grave in the cemetery in Israel has been daubed in the bright red paint and at least 30 graves kicked over completely
Last month the cemetery in Mierlo, in the Netherlands, was also vandalised. In this case black spray-paint was seen around the British and Commonwealth WWII graveyard
Police were called in to investigate after several headstones at the Mierlo War Cemetery were defaced
Last month the Mierlo War Cemetery near Eindhoven in Holland was vandalised.
The cemetery is the final resting place of 664 Commonwealth soldiers and one Dutch soldier from World War Two.
The vandalism took place in lead up to the 75th anniversary of the allied forces landing in the Netherlands and commemoration of the Arnhem air invasion.
Earlier this week several graves at a cemetery in Belfast were vandalised with headstones kicked over.