Shameful’ vandals deface British and Commonwealth WW1 hero graves with Nazi swastikas

Almost every headstone of the fallen who served in World War 1 had been heartlessly defaced overnight with red spray paint, with some having been kicked over at the cemetery in Hafia. Staff were horrified when they arrived in the morning to discover by the despicable act. Shocking images show blood red paint used on the quant headstones, with around 30 having been kicked over.

Many of the wrecked graves are in the Jewish area of the cemetery.

Police have launched an investigation.

A spokesman for the War Grave Commission called the vandalism “hugely distressing”.

They added that their teams had already started work on removing the graffiti.

The spokesman said: “The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) is dismayed by an act of vandalism to Haifa War Cemetery in Israel, in which slogans and graffiti were spray-painted across many of the headstones.

“The incident has been reported to the authorities and CWGC staff are on site to remove the graffiti and restore the cemetery to its traditional high standard.

“CWGC is grateful for all the messages of support and would like to reassure our public that we will never allow such shameful acts to detract from our commemoration of the war dead.”

The Haifa War Cemetery contains 305 Commonwealth burials.

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Up to 86 of the graves are unidentified.

There are also 36 burials of soldiers killed during World War 2.

The incident comes after a spike in cemetery vandalism.

The Mierlo War Cemetery in the Netherlands was vandalised last month and earlier this week and several graves at a cemetery in Belfast were also targeted.


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In Holland, the vandalism took place in lead up to the 75th anniversary of the allied forces landing in the Netherlands.

The incident also took place days an anti-Semitic gunman shot and killed two people in Halle, Germany.

Stephan Balliet, 27, admitted he intended to commit and massacre at a Jewish synagogue and was motivated by anti-Semitism and right-wing extremism.

A crime scene was in place on Humboldt Strasse, near the Jewish cemetery and the area has been cordoned off by police.

German Newspaper Bild said the shooting took place in front of a synagogue, and that a hand grenade was also thrown into the Jewish cemetery.

An eyewitness told n-tv television that the perpetrator had also fired shots into a kebab shop.

Before detaining Balliet, police said: “We have a deployment in Halle. According to preliminary findings, people killed.

“We are conducting urgent searches. Perpetrator on the run. Please stay at home or look for another secure place.”

Police added several shots were fired and the alleged shooter fled in a vehicle.

The shooting happened on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year in Judaism.

There was allegedly a second shooting in Wiedersdorf, near Queis in the district Landsberg,

Witnesses reported this occurred in a kebab shop.

Germany’s top security official described the shooting as an anti-Semitic attack, and said prosecutors believe there was be a far-right motive.

It is unclear what kind of firearm was used.

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