RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The PLO’s top negotiator and the Palestinian Authority on Tuesday strongly condemned racist and pro-settler vandalism on a Jerusalem monastery.
“Price-tag” and “Jesus is a son of a bitch” were sprayed on the gate of the Monastery of Saint Francis, just outside of the Old City, Israeli police and media reported Tuesday.
“After 45 years of Israeli occupation, a culture of hatred and racism has become mainstream among Israelis,” PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said in a statement.
Erekat called on the international community to “assume its duties and hold Israel accountable for its ongoing occupation and violations of international law.”
He added: “This culture of impunity that some countries have granted to Israel has allowed settlers to escalate their racist attacks against Palestinians without any legal accountability.”
The Palestinian Authority cabinet also strongly condemned the attack.
A statement from the cabinet in Ramallah said the PA strongly condemned the “settler attack against Mount Zion Convent where racist anti-Christ graffiti were spray painted at its walls.”
The cabinet said the Israeli government was “fully responsible for the consequences” of the vandalism as well as a “raid” on the al-Aqsa Mosque in which Palestinians were attacked.
Israeli officials have condemned the vandalism at the monastery.
Israeli President Shimon Peres said “holy sites must not be harmed,” a statement said.
In early September, suspected Jewish extremists torched the wooden door of a Jerusalem monastery and sprayed “Jesus is a monkey” and pro-settler graffiti on the walls.
In February, suspected Jewish extremists wrote “Death to Christianity” on two Jerusalem churches. The graffiti also included profanity about Jesus, and the vandals slashed the tires of several cars parked in one of the church compounds.
“Price tag” attacks have targeted mosques, Palestinian homes and Israeli military installations in the occupied West Bank.
An ancient mosque in Jerusalem was torched on Dec. 13, and sprayed with the Star of David, “price tag,” “Muhammad is a pig” and “A good Arab is a dead Arab” in Hebrew.
The term “price tag” is used by Jewish settlers to describe a policy to attack Palestinians and their property in retaliation for perceived anti-settler actions by the Israeli government.
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