Vandals deface Muslim grave in northern Israel

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Updated: Fri, 02 May 2014 01:15:25 EST

JERUSALEM (AP) — Police say vandals have defaced a grave in northern Israel in an attack they believe was carried out by a fringe group of Jewish extremists.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said Friday's vandalism was at the Izzedine al-Qassam cemetery. Al-Qassam fought the French, British, Jews and others in the region in the early decades of the last century.

His exploits inspired the Palestinian group Hamas to name its militant wing after him.

Extremists suspected to be behind the vandalism likely defaced the cemetery as part of ongoing protests over what they perceive as the Israeli government's pro-Palestinian policies.

The acts have been widely condemned by Israeli leaders across the political spectrum.

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