Attackers desecrated graves in an Arab Christian cemetery in Jaffa and damaged property nearby in an incident that bore the hallmarks of a "price tag" hate crime, Israeli police said Thursday.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that headstones in the Orthodox Christian graveyard in Jaffa, a mixed Arab-Jewish area in southern Tel Aviv, were sprayed with Hebrew graffiti and the tyres of five vehicles parked nearby were slashed.
"Apparently the incident took place overnight," he told AFP, saying the attackers had daubed "price tag" and "revenge" at the site.
"Price tag" is the term given to extremist hate crimes that generally target Arabs.
Initially carried out against Palestinians in retaliation for state moves to dismantle unauthorised settler outposts, such attacks have become a much broader phenomenon unrelated to any anti-settlement moves.
They tend to involve the vandalism or destruction of property and have included arson attacks on cars, mosques and olive trees.
Two weeks ago anti-Christian graffiti was daubed on the Church of the Dormition, one of Jerusalem's leading pilgrimage sites.
Police said they suspect Jewish religious extremists of spraying the Hebrew-language insults at the site, where tradition says the Virgin Mary died.