According to a report by Jpupdates, New York City police are actively investigating the vandalism of a memorial sign for 13-year-old terror victim Hallel Yaffa Ariel. Ariel was fatally stabbed by a 17-year-old Palestinian terrorist while sleeping in her home in Kiryat Arba in June.
The memorial sign, which was posted on the door of Congregation Sons of Israel in Queens had the message, “2000 Palestinians murdered by IDF. Why do you only care when Jews die?” along with “Zionism is racism.”
The suspect approached the synagogue, located at 3321 Crescent Street in Astoria, at around 5:45 p.m. One of the synagogue’s board members approached the suspect and asked him to stop what he was doing, at which point the suspect shouted, “Israel is doing to the Palestinians what the Nazis did to my relatives in the Holocaust!” according to police Sunday.
“On Tuesday, August 16, at around 7 p.m., we put up a new and bigger sign to mourn the death of this young girl,” Rabbi Jay Shoulson told JP. “When we returned Wednesday morning the sign was gone. Someone who can vandalize and steal such a sign,” Shoulson concluded, “is not a human being.”
NYPD spokesman Detective Hubert Reyes said the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force Unit is investigating the incident as a possible hate crime. Another NYPD official said detectives have recovered surveillance video showing the suspect vandalizing and stealing the signs. Based on the surveillance footage, the suspect is described as around 5-foot-5-inches tall, with a ponytail and a red baseball cap.
The synagogue did not report the incident until after the sign was stolen, the NYPD official said.
Rabbi Shoulson said the board was considering ignoring the incident, but once the suspect returned and stole the sign, they realized they were dealing with a more serious problem, and called the police.
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by: Chirelle Chekroune