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Current Page: World | Thursday, February 26, 2015
Hate Crime: Anti-Christian Graffiti Found at Scene of Fire at Greek Orthodox Seminary in Jerusalem

Hate Crime: Anti-Christian Graffiti Found at Scene of Fire at Greek Orthodox Seminary in Jerusalem

An Israeli man looks at damage at a Greek Orthodox seminary in Jerusalem, February 26, 2015. A fire damaged a Greek Orthodox seminary in Jerusalem on Thursday and anti-Christian graffiti was found at the scene in what Israeli police said could be a hate crime. | (Photo: Reuters/Ammar Awad)

Anti-Christian graffiti written in Hebrew was found at the scene of a Greek Orthodox seminary arson near Jerusalem's Old City on Thursday.

No one was injured during the fire, according to police, who believe the blaze was contained in the bathroom of the seminary.

The slogans written in Hebrew were found in the same area and read "Jesus is a son of a whore" and "Redemption of Zion." The fire reportedly started around 4 a.m. that night.

Israel's president Reuven Rivlin expressed "sadness and shock" over the incident during a phone call with Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem saying it was "inconceivable that an act like this could happen in a house of prayer, this is a heinous crime, there must be an investigation and those responsible must be brought to justice."

Police said no one was injured during the fire which happened just a day after a Palestinian mosque was set alight in the West Bank. Both of these attacks are being investigated.

"The protection and conservation of the holy sites, both those holy for us and those holy for others, is our obligation as a state and as a society, and we cannot allow such attacks to sabotage the common fabric of our lives here," said Rivlin. "We all have a responsibility to put an end to these terrible acts."

Jerusalem's Mayor Nir Barkat also spoke out against the attacks by saying, "there is no room for such deplorable activity" in the city which is holy ground for Jews, Christians and Muslim.

"We must eradicate this behavior and bring those responsible to justice," he continued in a Reuters report.

Some critics have even accused Israeli authorities of not reacting fast enough to the attack.

No suspects were found at the scene of the arson. These attacks seem to be a frequent occurrence as several mosques and churches in the area have been vandalized in recent years in "price tag" attacks by suspected Jewish ultra-nationalists who describe their actions as the price they will impose for any limits to Israeli settlement in occupied territory and Jewish religious supremacy over the Holy Land, according to Reuters.

A man looks at damage at a Greek Orthodox seminary in Jerusalem, February 26, 2015. A fire damaged a Greek Orthodox seminary in Jerusalem on Thursday and anti-Christian graffiti was found at the scene in what Israeli police said could be a hate crime. | (Photo: Reuters/Ammar Award)

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