RELIGION

May 21, 2014 1:36 PM by AP

Israeli police detain extremists before pope visit

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israeli police says it has issued restraining orders against several Jewish extremists who had planned to "disrupt" the upcoming visit of Pope Francis.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says a "number of right-wing activists" have been restrained for their intention to carry out "provocative and illegal acts" during the three-day visit to the Holy Land.

In recent weeks, vandals have scribbled anti-Arab and anti-Christian graffiti on Christian holy sites.

In addition to churches and monasteries, vandals have also targeted mosques, dovish Israeli groups and even Israeli military bases.

A tiny fringe group of radical Israeli settlers are believed to be behind the spate of attacks meant to protest what they perceive as the Israeli government's pro-Palestinian policies and in retaliation for Palestinian attacks.

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