Jerusalem Christians targeted by Jewish extremists

Jerusalem Christians targeted by Jewish extremists

Spitting, insults, desecration of church and cemetery… The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs published a press release on Tuesday, October 3, denouncing acts “ odious “. Since the far right came to power in Israel at the end of last year, attacks against Christians have been recurring in Jerusalem.

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With each new attack against Christians, Israel condemns, but the authorities of the Hebrew State rarely crack down on the aggressors, writes our correspondent in Jerusalem, Sami Boukhelifa. However, the violence is documented. Videos regularly show religious Jews attacking members of the Christian community. Interviewed earlier this year, Miran Gregorian, a Christian shopkeeper in Jerusalem’s Old City, filmed a group of young Israeli settlers vandalizing his restaurant. “ The police never followed up », he regrets.

Read alsoIn Jerusalem, Christians face increasing attacks

This week, Israel celebrates the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Enough to lead to a large influx in the city several thousand years old, where the holy places of the three great religions of the book are located. In the narrow streets of the holy city, pilgrims of three faiths now meet. An extremely tense situation. A strong police presence, which does not prevent extremist Jews from spitting on Christians, whom they consider to be idolaters.

Netanyahu promises “ zero tolerance »

On September 21, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Pierbattista Pizzaballa noted that the phenomenon of attacks against Christians in the Old City was “not not new » but that we observed “ an increase in numbers ” on a ” recent period “.

After the broadcast on social networks of a new video showing Jewish faithful spitting as Christian pilgrims pass through Jerusalem, the Israeli Prime Minister promised Tuesday, October 3 in a press release a “ zero tolerance ” It front of “ attacks on believers “. “ I strongly condemn any attack on believers and we will take emergency measures against this type of action. “, declared Benjamin Netanyahu.

The text does not refer to any specific event, but the video from the day before – unauthenticated – shows a group of ultra-Orthodox Jews celebrating the Sukkot holiday, including young boys, spitting on the ground as pilgrims carrying a cross pass by on the Via Dolorosa, the traditional route of the Stations of the Cross recalling the Passion of Christ in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Read alsoChristians driven out of Jerusalem’s Old City by extremist Jews

(And with AFP)