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Anti-Israel protester, 16, arrested for vandalizing Central Park WWI memorial

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A teenage anti-Israel protester who vandalized a World War I memorial in Central Park earlier this week has been arrested, according to the NYPD and police sources.

The 16-year-old boy was charged with criminal mischief in the third degree, a felony, and making graffiti, which is a misdemeanor, for allegedly defacing the 107th Infantry Memorial during an unruly demonstration on Monday night.

The youngster has been a regular face at rallies organized by the anti-Israel group Within Our Lifetime, according to sources.

A 16-year-old boy who vandalized a World War I memorial in Central Park earlier this week has been arrested. Getty Images

NYPD Deputy Commissioner Kaz Daughtry posted a blurred photo to X of the young vandal in handcuffs sitting on a bench in a police station. Sources had previously believed he was turned in by his dad Thursday night but cops have since refuted that.

“The despicable vandalism we saw earlier this week on the WWI Memorial will not be ignored, and will not go unpunished,” Daughtry tweeted as he announced one of the culprits’ arrest.

“This isn’t simply juvenile hijinks — it’s an act of desecration that undermines the freedoms our heroes fought and died for,” he added.

Sources said the youngster attends Tottenville High School and has no prior arrests.

The war memorial was defaced by several vandals who scrawled “Gaza” and “Free Palestine” on its base and plastered the statue with anti-Israel stickers.

The teen has a regular face at rallies organized by the anti-Israel group Within Our Lifetime, the sources said. NYPD Deputy Commissioner, Operations Kaz Daughtry/X

Another protester torched an American flag in front of the bronze memorial depicting seven WWI foot soldiers in battle.

Several others were seen climbing on top of the infantrymen and waving Palestinian flags.

The desecration of the memorial outraged New Yorkers who visited the site Tuesday to see the damage themselves.

The war memorial was defaced by several vandals who scrawled “Gaza” and “Free Palestine” on its base and plastered the statue with anti-Israel stickers. Jack Morphet/NY Post

“These people are just nuts and violent,” Michael Skol, who has lived in the tony Manhattan neighborhood for 25 years, had told The Post.

“Burning the flag is anti-American. It’s stupid,” he added. “It definitively doesn’t help Palestinians or the peace process. These are people who are not in the tradition of believing America is a good place. It’s disgusting.”

The enraged locals argued that the throngs of pro-Palestinian protesters were only hurting their own cause with their mindless destruction.

“It’s horrible to treat a World War I memorial the way they did. It breaks your heart,” said Ron Zucher, 50.

Another protester torched an American flag in front of the bronze memorial depicting seven WWI foot soldiers in battle. Jack Morphet/NY Post
Several others were seen climbing on top of the infantrymen and waving Palestinian flags. Jack Morphet / NY Post

“In this country, you have a right to voice your opinion, but not destroy memorials that pay tribute to heroes who died for our country.

“You gotta have some decency,” he added. “The protesters are not helping their own cause destroying monuments and burning the flag.”

A cleanup crew on Tuesday scrubbed off the graffiti left behind at the memorial using power washers and a biodegradable chemical cleaning agent.

Anarchists on Monday night also vandalized the Civil War Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman monument in nearby Grand Army Plaza on 59th Street.

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