JERUSALEM (JTA) – At least 10 gravestones, including that of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s grandfather, were smashed and burnt at the Mount of Olives cemetery in eastern Jerusalem.
The vandalism was discovered after midnight Wednesday, when reports of flames and smoke led firefighters to the scene, according to reports. The Fire Department confirmed that the fire was arson.
The gravestone of Nathan Mileikowsky, Netanyahu’s grandfather, was among those smashed.
Brig.-Gen. Avshalom Peled, the Jerusalem District Police deputy commander, told Israeli lawmakers last month during a tour of the cemetery that over the next four years, some 160 security cameras will be installed to protect the cemetery and that more police officers will be stationed there, Ynet reported. Vandalism at the cemetery has continued on a regular basis, though it has declined as more security cameras are installed.
The cemetery, on a hill above the Old City, has about 150,000 graves, some up to 3,000 years old.