JERUSALEM, Friday, January 27, 2023 (WAFA) – Heads of the Catholic Churches in Jerusalem today condemned a Jewish settler attack on an Armenian restaurant in the Christian Quarter of the occupied city of Jerusalem.
“Last night, a large group of Israeli settlers, carrying flags, chanting and shouting, entered the New Gate. Some tourists were sitting in a restaurant, enjoying the peaceful atmosphere of the neighborhood, when suddenly this group started harassing them and destroying chairs and tables of the shops and restaurants located there,” the Assembly of the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land said in a press statement.
The restaurant was identified as Taboon Wine Bar.
“This unprovoked violence instilled fear in the shopkeepers and residents of the Christian quarter as well as visitors. It did not end until the police came, one hour later, and took the attackers away. Israeli Police, who arrived at the scene one hour later, made no arrests among the attackers,” the statement read.
The attack, the Assembly added, was “only the latest in a series of episodes of religious violence that is affecting the symbols of the Christian community and beyond.”
The Assembly condemned such attacks and expressed their concern “for the escalation of violence in the Holy City. This happened in the street which leads to the Holy Sepulcher, the most sacred Christian place in the world, and in the Christian Quarter which hosts many monasteries and churches,” the Assembly pointed.
They lashed out the Israeli occupation authorities for failing to take any tangible steps to stop cases of Jewish settler violence against Palestinians, including Christians.
“It is a priority that the political and religious authorities work according to their own responsibility to bring the civil and religious life of the city back to greater serenity. Jerusalem must remain the homeland of believers of all faiths and not hostage to radical groups.”
Settlers’ violence against Palestinians and their property is routine in the West Bank and is rarely prosecuted by Israeli authorities.
Settlers’ violence includes property and mosque arsons, stone-throwing, uprooting of crops and olive trees, attacks on vulnerable homes, among others.
There are over 800,000 Israeli settlers living in colonial settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.