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Haifa synagogue vandalized
Synagogue's sukkah burnt down, prayer books sprayed with slogans reading 'death to religious people'. Haifa police launch widespread investigation

Vandals set fire to Haifa's Neveh David synagogue's sukkah Saturday night and spray-painted swastikas and hate slogans on the synagogue's prayer books.

 

Haifa police began investigating the incident – the fourth of its kind in Haifa in the last few months – as soon as the vandalism was reported Sunday.

 

According to initial investigation, the synagogue's sukkah was set ablaze shortly before midnight Saturday. Police and local firefighters were called to the scene by the synagogue's patrons, who later found the hate slogans, reading "death to religious people", spray-painted on the synagogue's prayer books.

 

Haifa was plagued by a similar incident about two weeks ago, when a parked car was sprayed with swastikas and the figures 666, which represents the devil. All four of its tires were slashed.

 

An elderly woman who was a partial witness to the incident told police that the culprits raised their hand in the Nazi salute, calling "Heil Hitler".

 

Haifa Police chief Dudu Ben-Atiya told Ynet that investigators were conducting several investigations into vandalism of a neo-Nazi nature.

 

"This is another unfortunate incident where vandals deface property using Nazi slogans. Due to the increasing number of similar cases, we are conducting a widespread investigation," said Ben-Atiya.

 

He did not say whether police suspected that the vandalism was perpetrated by separate individuals or by a neo-Nazi gang.

 

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