3 Jewish teens detained for vandalizing World War I cemetery in Beersheba

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Three Jewish teens were detained for vandalizing the Beersheba War Cemetery, the burial site of hundreds of Australian World War I soldiers.

The youths are aged 14, 17 and 18, according to Israel Police. It is not known what their motive was for damaging the Christian cemetery. Several gravestones were toppled in the incident.

The cemetery was established after the southern Israeli city was captured by the 4th Australian Light Horse Brigade from Turkish troops.

After British troops had tried unsuccessfully for two days to outgun Turkish troops, 800 Australians, whose horses had not drunk in 48 hours, were ordered on Oct. 31, 1917 to charge into the firing line of 4,000 entrenched and heavily armed Turks. The brigade successfully captured the area.

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