The Catholic church has not made a specific accusation against any person, but pointed out that the desecration is not the first of its kind. In September 1981, attackers destroyed the cemetery at the Beit Jamal monastery, run by the Salesian order.
Beit Jamal is a Catholic monastery located south of the town of Beit Shamesh, 35 kilometers from Jerusalem.
Solidarity visit to the Italian Salesians of Beit Jamal after the destruction of crosses of their cemetery. pic.twitter.com/Jalm0J2Rja— Francesco M. Talo' (@francescom_talo) January 11, 2016
"Salesian fathers responsible for the monastery in Beit Jamal reported that unknown persons desecrated their monastery's cemetery," the patriarchate said in a statement.
"The fathers reported also that tens of crosses were destroyed at their cemetery," they said, condemning the December 30 attack.
Church officials urged "the police… and the Israeli authorities in general to invest every possible effort" to bring to justice those who violated a sanctuary against this and past desecrations.
"We do hope that more efforts be made to educate all inhabitants of the country to respect each other despite their different religious backgrounds," said the statement.