For the second time in less than a month, Muslims tore out a Mezuzah from a door at the sacred and hotly contested Cave of Machpelah, the holy resting place of the biblical patriarchs and matriarchs.
The vandalism took place at a time when the cave was open only to Muslims. It was documented by security cameras that are operated by Border Police at the holy site.
Police detained several suspects who were near the mezuzah when it was vandalized.
Security forces promised Jewish community who frequent the Cave that they would make an effort to step up security during the days in which the Cave is open only to Muslims. These extra measures are intended as a message that vandalism will not be tolerated.
A similar act of desecration took place at the site in mid-July, during the Muslim month of Ramadan. Jewish worshippers who arrived at the Cave of Patriarchs after Muslim prayers on Friday were horrified to find that the site had been vandalised.
Two mezuzot had been torn off and stolen, and a third was damaged. Muslim worshippers had also thrown mud and garbage around the site, and uprooted parts of the garden outside.
Mezuzot are small cases containing Jewish holy scriptures that observant Jews affix to doorposts in homes and other buildings.