Dimona municipality workers on Wednesday were shocked to discover dozens of swastikas sprayed on a monument for late Member of Knesset Yuri Stern and Dimona residents who fought in the Red Army against the Nazis during World War II.
Some of the Nazi symbols were also sprayed on the municipality building. Police opened an investigation and said they expect to make arrests soon.
Municipal inspectors and patrol teams spotted the graffiti during the morning hours, and quickly cleaned up both locations.
The municipality was enraged by the incident, and Dimona Mayor Meir Cohen said it was "an atrocious act," adding that he hoped "those responsible would be arrested as soon as possible and brought to justice."
Residents of the southern city were also deeply upset by the act of vandalism. "I was simply mortified," Dudu Gozlan told Ynet.
"Here of all places, in a monument commemorating heroes of the Jewish people, we see such an ugly phenomenon. These acts are spreading around, and all that is left for me to do is pray for it to stop," he added.
A similar event was reported in the south earlier this month, when an Ethiopian woman's grave was vandalized at the Beersheba cemetery.
The perpetrators sprayed the slogan "death to niggers" and swastikas on her gravestone. The woman's relatives filed a complaint with the police, in which they said they spotted graffiti written in Russian around the area.