A CATHOLIC monastery in Israel was attacked by vandals on Tuesday.
The culprits sprayed anti-Christian graffiti messages on walls of the Trappist monastery at Latrun, west of Jerusalem, and set fire to its doors.
Police were called in by monks who put out the fire, which was believed to have been started at 3.30am.
Chief Inspector Micky Rosenfeld told the AFP: "A wooden door of the convent was burnt by unidentified vandals and the slogan 'Jesus is a monkey' was sprayed on the walls."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the “criminal act” and said that “those responsible must be severely punished.”
Defence Minister Ehud Barak called for the Shin Bet, the domestic intelligence service, to investigate the matter.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, an associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal centre, said: “We find this an intolerable attack not only on a religious site, but on the core values of democracy and tolerance that are sacrosanct to the vast majority of Israelis.
“The Israeli people recognise that Jews have a special obligation to protect the rights of everyone in the state of Israel to pray.”