Around 20 tombstones were vandalized on Friday, some with swastikas, in a Haifa graveyard by British victims of World War I and IIsaid the police.

The incident at the Haifa War Cemetery was being investigated as a hate crime.

Three of the tombstones had been completely vandalized, the Walla news site reported.

The graves had also been subjected to acts of vandalism in an adjacent Templar cemetery.

The British military cemetery on Yafo Street in the city was temporarily closed to visitors.

Goalkeeper Adel Mor, who has kept the cemetery on behalf of the British authorities for 30 years, told Walla that the incident "makes the heart ache."

"Why would anyone want to cause pain in a place like this? I do not understand it at all”Said Mor.

305 soldiers who fought in the region in World War I are buried in the cemetery, 86 of which have not been identified, along with 36 victims of World War II, according to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Most of the soldiers died in hospitals in the area, and some died on the battlefield.

In another incident, about 35 gravestones were damaged Friday in a cemetery in the Israeli city of Nof Hagalil, formerly known as Nazareth Illit, in an apparent act of vandalism.

Most of the damaged tombstones were in a Jewish section of the cemetery, and some in a non-Jewish section.

Investigators had gathered evidence at the scene and initiated an investigation, police said in a statement.