Rivlin: Israel Will ‘Do All it Can’ to Prevent Mount of Olives Desecration
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin visited a section of the Mount of Olives Jewish cemetery in Jerusalem on Monday that has suffered extensive vandalism, saying Israel must “do all it can to prevent such attacks.”
“This is a highly sensitive area, where the majority of residents wish to live in peace and quiet, and we must put an end to the provocation. It cannot be so that in our state, we are unable to stop such terrible vandalism,” said Rivlin, who was touring the Afghan section of the Jerusalem cemetery where more than 60 graves have recently been vandalized.
The local police commander explained to Rivlin that the vandalism ranges from trash dumped on gravesites to tombstones set on fire. He said rock-throwing attacks had kept some from visiting the graves of their loved-ones.
Jerusalem Chief Rabbi Aryeh Stern told The Algemeiner recently that the city had resolved to build a barrier around the threatened areas of the cemetery — much of the mountain, in east Jerusalem, is surrounded by Arab villages. Rivlin was told a high-fence was planned for the northeastern end of the mountain.
Burial at the Mount of Olives cemetery has continued for 3,000 years, since the First Temple Period, right up to contemporary times. Rivlin also visited his parents’ graves at the cemetery, prior to his tour of the Afghan section.