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Christian centre torched in Jerusalem

26 Feb 2015, 20:30 GMT+10

A Christian seminary building in Jerusalem was torched and anti-Jesus slurs were spray-painted on its walls early Thursday in, what the police suspect, a hate crime attack by far-right Jews.

A spokesperson for the fire services said firefighters arrived at the scene near Jerusalem's Old City at around 4 a.m. and extinguished the blaze, Xinhua news agency reported.

No injuries were reported but the building, which belongs to the Greek-Orthodox church, was damaged. Racist graffiti were spray-painted on a wall.

The building is situated on Mount Zion across from the Old City, one of the areas most prone to the so-called "price tag" attacks.

Dozens of hate crimes by Israeli extremists have taken place in the area, including assaults and spitting attacks on Christian clergymen and vandalism of churches, cars and tombs.

"Price tags" are attacks perpetrated by far-right Jews against Palestinians' property or religious sites, including mosques and Christian churches, in response to Palestinian violence or, alternatively, to Israeli government moves that are perceived as a threat to the expansion of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

The latest incident came a day after a mosque in the West Bank village of Jab'aa near Bethlehem was set on fire. According to Palestinian reports, settlers entered the mosque overnight and sprayed hate graffiti on the walls, including "Revenge" and "We want redemption of Zion".

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