Two settlers attack a monk in Jerusalem and call for protection of the city's Christians

Capture of Jerusalem- The attack on a Christian cleric inside the Old City of Jerusalem yesterday, Saturday, was not surprising, but it was not acceptable and it did not go unnoticed.

The incident prompted the Supreme Presidential Committee to Oversee Church Affairs in Palestine and the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora to issue statements condemning the incident. Israeli police also published news that they had arrested two minors who attacked the cleric by insulting and spitting.

When Nicodemus Schnabel, German abbot of the Benedictine Fathers and head of the Monastery of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary, was walking through the streets of the Old City of Jerusalem, two settlers blocked his way, spit on him, then called him and Mr. Jesus, Peace be upon him, uttered obscene words and tried to physically attack him.

The cleric responded to the attack by trying to take photographs of them and telling one of them, “You are touching me and you have no right to do that,” adding that Israeli police always take photographs to identify attackers. demands, and a video clip widely circulated on social media shows that is exactly what she tried to do.

Police said in their statement that “both minors were arrested and placed under house arrest,” meaning they were released after hours of questioning.

hatred and pressure

Archimandrite Abdullah July – former head of the Greek Melkite Catholic monastery in Ramallah – described the attack as “very serious”, and said that Christian clergy are responsible and perform official duties, and live in Jerusalem under residency granted to them by Israel. are,” and the repetition of these attacks only indicates religious hatred and rejection of others.

July said in his interview with Al Jazeera Net that the war on Gaza revealed the hatred in the hearts of those occupying Jerusalem.

Regarding the role of Christian religious authorities and church heads in response to these attacks, July stressed that the voice of these authorities is weak, and many people live in fear that their presence will not be recognized or their presence in the country. Residency will be canceled and they will be harassed while traveling and these measures will continuously put pressure on them and silence them.

When asked whether attacks on foreign Christian clergy in Jerusalem might force them to leave service in the Holy Land, July replied: If the clergy do not have a sense of belonging to this land and this people, then it is for them to stay here. It is not an easy country.

Archimandrite July concluded his speech by saying that Israel does not want to see these people in the country “because they are considered eyewitnesses to what is happening, and the repeated attacks by settlers on them to leave Palestine. Come within the framework of pressure on them.”

communal and racist violence

For his part, George Sahar, advocacy officer for the World Council of Churches office in Jerusalem, told Al Jazeera Net that the council raised the issue of attacks on Christian clergy several times, and took a stance against these attacks by insisting the occupying authority . We have a responsibility to provide equal protection and dignity to all in Jerusalem. Religion.

Sahar affirmed that the Office in Jerusalem views all churches in the world as being at risk of repeated attacks, and demanded that they intervene to ensure freedom of worship in the city, as attacks threaten both a holy city and a safe city. As affect the essence of Jerusalem. Place.

In a statement on Al Jazeera Net, the Supreme Presidential Committee to Monitor Church Affairs in Palestine, through its chairman Ramzi Khouri, said, “There is an urgent need for immediate and urgent intervention by the United Nations and the Security Council.” End Israeli fascist crimes.”

Khoury appealed to the world's churches to put pressure on their governments to end the genocide in the Gaza Strip, and to stop all forms of sectarian and racist violence perpetrated by settlers' hordes against the Palestinian people and their sanctities. . ,

The statement said the latest attack on the Christian cleric is in addition to nine attacks carried out by extremists against churches, their property and Christian clergy in Jerusalem during the last year 2023.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora – in a statement on Al Jazeera Net – also condemned the attack, which it described as “provocative, arrogant, colonialist and racist”, reflecting a culture of hatred, malice and denial of existence. Other.”

mobilization and incitement

The ministry said the attack reflects the extent of racist incitement and mobilization received by members of extremist settler organizations and associations, whether through religious schools or through fatwas from extremist rabbis, and inciting campaigns declared by ministers in the Israeli government. And through posts. Such as National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, and others at the highest levels. Official Israeli.

The ministry believed that “the settler militias' sense of political and legal security encourages them to sow the seeds of hatred, light fires in the conflict zone, and commit the most heinous crimes and provocative attacks against Palestinian civilians and followers of other religions “

It is noteworthy that the religious basis that motivates the settlers to attack churches and Christian clergy is that the Jewish faith considers Christians as “pagans” and rejects Christianity because it is “pagan”.

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