Latin patriarch of Jerusalem condemns ‘hate crimes’ against Christians

Middle East Monitor  /  February 4, 2023

Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, on Friday condemned the “dangerous hate crimes and sabotage” against Christian sites in occupied East Jerusalem, a statement announced.

Pizzaballa shared in a statement that a Jewish US citizen broke into the Church of the Flagellation on the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem’s Old City and vandalized a statue of Jesus.

He also confirmed that the incident was the fifth in just a few weeks, noting that tourists were attacked by a Jewish group last week, turning the area into “a battlefield”.

“Two weeks ago, a Christian cemetery in Jerusalem was vandalized, and writings calling for death to Christians were written on the walls of one of the monasteries in the Armenian quarter,” explained Pizzaballa.

He added: “We are following with serious concern, and we strongly condemn the increasing acts of hate and violence against the Christian community in Israel.”

Church leaders have repeatedly urged the Israeli occupation authorities to put an end to the “hate crimes”, but nothing has yet happened.


Jewish settlers attack Armenian restaurant in Jerusalem

Middle East Monitor  /  January 28, 2023

Israeli settlers on Thursday evening attacked an Armenian restaurant near the New Gate in the Christian Quarter of the occupied city of Jerusalem, local sources told WAFA News Agency.

The radical settlers attacked a group of diners, mostly Armenians, who were enjoying their meals at the Taboon Wine Bar.

Video footage posted by WAFA News Agency showed the extremist Jewish settlers hurling chairs at the restaurant and diners.

On Friday afternoon, Latin Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa visited the restaurant owners and adjacent shopkeepers, whose businesses were the target of attacks, in a show of solidarity by the church.

This came just one day after a number of extremist Jewish settlers cursed Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and chanted “death to the Arabs [Palestinians]” near Damascus Gate in occupied Jerusalem.