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Headstones smashed at Jewish cemeteries in Ukraine and Romania

(JTA) — In two separate incidents, a Jewish cemetery was vandalized in Romania and Ukraine.

The Center for Monitoring and Combating Antisemitism in Romania-MCA reported Sunday about the incident in the town of Ploesti, located about 50 miles north of Bucharest. Multiple headstones, some as recent as 2009, were knocked over. Several were smashed.

On Thursday, at least 10 of the 60 headstones in the Jewish cemetery of Radvanka, a western Ukraine village on the outskirts of Uzhgorod, according to the United Jewish Community of Ukraine, one of several communal interests group. Also, the group said Friday, in an unfenced hillside graveyard with overgrown grass, several of the headstones were smashed.

In both incidents, police were informed of the damage. There are no suspects in either case.

In 2012, the Council of Europe, a intergovernmental body that is not part of the European Union, adopted a nonbinding resolution placing responsibility for the care of Jewish cemeteries on national governments. The resolution was based in part on a report that said Jewish cemeteries are “probably” more vulnerable than other cemeteries.

In addition to frequent vandalism, including for anti-Semitic reasons, at Jewish cemeteries, the report also noted instances of cemeteries in Eastern Europe that have been turned into “residential areas, public gardens, leisure parks, army grounds and storage sites; some have been turned into lakes.”

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