Christians condemn acquittal of suspected Jerusalem vandals

JERUSALEM — Christian authorities in Jerusalem are denouncing the acquittal of two Jewish youths suspected of vandalizing a famous monastery.

Wadie Abunassar, an adviser to church leaders in the Holy Land, said on Tuesday that an Israeli court's decision to acquit those suspecting of sprawling anti-Christian graffiti on the Dormition Abbey several years ago is "unacceptable."

He says the outcome is that those who carried out the attack weren't "brought to justice" and Israeli authorities must find and punish them to deter others.

The attack against the Dormition Abbey, where Christians believe the Virgin Mary died, came amid a spate of vandalism on Christin targets that were blamed on extremist Jewish activists. It was widely condemned.

The Benedictine monastery just outside Jerusalem's Old City is a popular site for pilgrims and tourists.

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