(Workers clean graffiti sprayed at Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem June 11, 2012. The graffiti reads in Hebrew: "The Zionist leadership wanted the Holocaust". REUTERS/Ammar Awad)

Israeli police said on Tuesday they had arrested three ultra-Orthodox Jews on suspicion of having spray-painted anti-Zionist slogans at the national Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial two weeks ago.

The men, aged 18, 26 and 27, belong to an ultra-Orthodox group opposed to Israel’s existence and admitted to the vandalism, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. They were due to be arraigned in court later in the day.

Some of the graffiti, all written in Hebrew, accused Israel’s founders of secretly encouraging the slaughter of six million Jews by the Nazis during World War Two to hasten the creation, in 1948, of the Jewish state.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the slogans outrageous and said after the incident it was hard to believe “a human being could be capable of writing such things”.