Three held over Israel graffiti outrage

Israeli police have arrested three ultra-Orthodox Jews on suspicion of spray-painting anti-Zionist slogans at the national Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial two weeks ago.

The men, aged 18, 26 and 27, belong to an ultra-Orthodox group opposed to Israel’s existence and admitted to the vandalism, police said.

Some of the graffiti, all written in Hebrew, accused Israel’s founders of secretly encouraging the slaughter of six million Jews by the Nazis during the Second World War Two to hasten the creation, in 1948, of the Jewish state.

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Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the slogans outrageous and said it was hard to believe “a human being could be capable of writing such things”.

Some ultra-Orthodox Jews regard modern-day Israel as an abomination, believing the establishment of a Jewish state must await the coming of the Messiah.