NEWTON, MASS. (WHDH) - Hundreds of people attended a rededication ceremony Sunday for a memorial made up of signs calling for the release of Israeli hostages held by Hamas. The 100-foot memorial wall was spray painted last month.

The vandalism on Homer Street in Newton Centre prompted the police department to launch a hate crime investigation “due to the underlying crimes specifically targeting the victims of a protected class,” according to a statement from police.

In a statement after the vandalism was discovered, Newton Police Chief Carmichael said, “We denounce such behavior, and our community has no tolerance for such bias and hateful acts. We will investigate the matter fully and seek to prosecute anyone involved.”

Speaking at the event, State Rep. Ruth Balser said, “this was a hate crime, and what’s wonderful is our community comes together, our community comes together to stand up against all kinds of hate.”

The family that set up the mural say they hope it keeps the hostages in people’s hearts and they’d noticed people stop to look over the images and pray for their safe return.

Anyone with information about the vandalism is still asked to contact the Newton Police Department.

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