Days of Palestine

Sunday, March 26

Christians Feel Pressure from Israeli Settlers’ Violence against Them

Christians Feel Pressure from Israeli Settlers' Violence against Them
M.S | DOP -

Members of the Christian community in the Old City of Jerusalem have been saying for weeks that they are feeling the pressure of increasing harassment and intimidation from the extremist Israeli settlers’ violence. Christians

Earlier this month, an Israeli settler vandalized a statue of Christ in the Church of the Flagellation at the place where Jesus is believed to have carried the cross after being sentenced to death by crucifixion.

“This church commemorates the suffering of Jesus, and to do so (Israeli settlers’ attacks) in this particular place is very bad,” said Father Eugenio Aliata, director of the archaeological department at the Museum of the Holy Land.

This Israeli attack followed a series of other incidents, in one of which the words “Death to the Armenians” and “Death to the Christians” were written in Hebrew on the walls of the Armenian Monastery of St. James (Saint James) in early January.

“I can say that, since the beginning of the new Israeli government, such attacks have become very common,” said Miran Krikorian, a restaurant owner in the Old City. “The problem is that we feel there is nothing we can do about it.”

Churches in Jerusalem reported abuses by Israeli settlers after the swearing-in of Netanyahu’s far-right government.

In addition to the defacement incident, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem said at least four other incidents of Israeli settlers’ vandalism or violent harassment had been reported.

There was no comment from Itamar Ben Gvir, the ultra-Orthodox settler in charge of the police in the Netanyahu’s six-week-old coalition, despite the government’s pledge to protect all citizens.

The Israeli occupation police did not directly address accusations that anti-Christian incidents were on the rise, but said that arrests had been made and some indictments issued in all of the cases mentioned.