Israel condemns Jerusalem church vandalism

Oct 09, 2012, 12:01 PM EDT
A Palestinian elderly woman collects olives from broken olive tree branches in the village of Qusra, northern West Bank, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. Palestinian farmers say Jewish settlers from the nearby settlement of Eli cut more than 70 olive trees overnight. Olives are the backbone of Palestinian agriculture.
AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's foreign minister has condemned the vandalism of the Romanian church in Jerusalem, the latest in a string of attacks on Christian sites in the Holy Land.

Avigdor Lieberman expressed sorrow in a meeting with Romania's visiting foreign minister Titus Corlatean on Tuesday, a day after vandals damaged the church door and tossed garbage at its entrance.

A tiny fringe group of pro-settler extremists are suspected in the vandalism. They have conducted similar attacks on churches, mosques and Israeli army property.

They say the acts called "price tags" are retaliation to what they consider the government's pro-Palestinian policies.

Vandalism also occurred in the West Bank. Residents of the Jewish settlement of Eli said 15 olive trees were destroyed. Palestinians in nearby Qusra said 70 of their trees were damaged