Two Jewish extremists desecrated Palestinian Christian cemetery in occupied East Jerusalem on New Year's day
Two Jewish extremists desecrated a Palestinian Christian cemetery in occupied East Jerusalem on New Year's day.
Video footage showed two young men, one with tassels attached to his trousers, smashing tombs and crosses in the Jerusalem Protestant cemetery.
"It really grieves us to see what happened over the new year holiday when we discovered that more than thirty tombstones and crosses were smashed to pieces by at least two Jewish extremists," Bishop Husam Naoum of the Anglican Church told journalists at the cemetery where the act of vandalism took place.
The vandals also shattered the tombstone of the Anglican Bishop Samuel Gobat, who established the cemetery in 1848.
The cemetery, which lies just outside the Old City walls, near Jaffa Gate, contains graves of the clergy, Palestinian protestants, scientists, and Palestine police officers from the time of the mandate.
CCTV footage shows Jewish Israeli settlers desecrating graves in the Protestant Cemetery in occupied Jerusalem. pic.twitter.com/N9yQflyzO3— Mohammed El-Kurd (@m7mdkurd) January 3, 2023
"I ask for action to be taken; the perpetrators brought to the law and be a lesson for others," Bishop Husam Naoum said, adding that the Church land is not under dispute with Jewish settlers.
It is the second vandalism against the Protestant Church in a decade.
Bishop Naoum blamed the act on the rise of hate speech in Israeli society.
The vandals targeted many stone crosses, indicating, the Church statement said, that these "criminal acts were motivated by religious bigotry and hatred against Christians."
In their Christmas message, Church leaders in Jerusalem described a "disheartening atmosphere" prevailing in Jerusalem and the Holy Land.
Palestinian Christians are increasingly facing "assaults" on their free exercise of Religion, personal "attacks," defamation of churches and cemeteries, the message read.
These acts, Church leaders say, have led to a lack of hope, primarily among Christian youth, who "feel unwelcome in the land of their ancestors."
Church leaders have also warned that radical Jewish groups persist in acquiring strategic property in the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem, employing underhanded dealings and intimidation tactics to evict residents from their homes to diminish the Christian presence.
The Israeli police are investigating the crime, Bishop Naoum told reporters.