PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A man has been charged after an Israeli flag was vandalized on Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Tuesday.
The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office says 26-year-old Antoine Guyton was charged with desecration, ethnic intimidation, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia said employees initially responded to a report that the flag had been vandalized around 4 p.m. While walking over, they say employees caught a man using red spray paint on the flag.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney says police arrested the suspect shortly after the incident.
“I’m very upset to learn of the desecration of the Israeli flag that hangs along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Hate and anti-Semitism have no place in the City of Philadelphia. While I understand that emotions are running high and there are many viewpoints stemming from recent violence against Palestinians and other protesters in the Gaza Strip, it doesn’t warrant hateful acts of violence,” said Kenney.
The vandalism comes as Israeli forces have killed dozens of Palestinian protesters in the Gaza Strip after the new U.S. Embassy opened in Jerusalem on Monday.