(VitalNews.org) – Vandals have daubed the Lincoln Memorial with red paint, leaving the message “Free Gaza” as well as messages that included the phrase “land back” on the famous steps that lead from the Reflecting Pool to the building itself. The culprit, or culprits, remain unidentified. The graffiti, which included red paint being poured over the steps, was discovered on Wednesday morning, December 20, and resulted in the area’s temporary closure to the public.
National Park Service staff began the lengthy clean-up operation on the same day, although spokesman Mike Litterst explained that it would likely take several attempts over several days to remove all of the pro-Palestinian graffiti. Ultimately, the service was able to complete the clean-up and re-open the park before the end of Thursday, December 21. An investigation into the vandalism is now underway, with US Park Police asking anybody who may have relevant information to contact them via email at [email protected] or via their telephone tip line on (202)379-4877. At this point, no individual or activist group has taken credit for the action.
The graffiti comes after a series of pro-Palestinian, or anti-Israeli, protests and acts of vandalism in Washington D.C. since the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas, the terrorist organization and governing body of Palestinian Gaza that massacred over 1200 Israelis, many civilians, on October 7. Dozens of anti-Israeli protestors were arrested during an illegal rally inside the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday, December 19. On December 11, 40 protestors demanding an Israeli ceasefire in Gaza were arrested while illegally demonstrating inside the Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill.
Hamas leaders have sworn to carry out repeats of the October 7 massacre, which saw their militants livestreaming acts of rape, torture, and murder against Israeli civilians, as well as kidnapping over 200 people and taking them to Gaza, to the delight of crowds gathered in the streets. The Israeli government in turn has vowed to destroy Hamas. As the war rages with no immediate end in sight, pro-Palestinian protests continue around the world, with many Jewish sites being targeted for graffiti and vandalism as well as prominent political landmarks such as the Lincoln Memorial.
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