JERUSALEM, Saturday, January 28, 2023 (WAFA) – The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem condemned violent attacks by radical Israelis against Christian property in the New Gate area of Jerusalem’s Old City on Thursday night and vowed to prevent marches by radical Israeli groups in the Old City.
“We will work to prevent the marches of Israeli radical groups,” said the Patriarchate in a statement, condemning “the violent attack carried out by members of Israeli radical groups targeting Christians in the New Gate area of the Old City of Jerusalem.”
The Patriarchate said that it “affirms that allowing members of such radical groups to freely march and roam around the neighborhoods of Jerusalem while armed and having declared criminal intentions, is considered as complicit in the attack and displays unwelcomed leniency with the criminals,” in reference to the Israeli police allowing the marches despite their open intent to harm Palestinians in the area.
A large group of Israeli settlers, carrying flags, chanting and shouting, entered the New Gate, one of the main gates of the Old City where mainly Christians live and have businesses, and started harassing tourists sitting at an Armenian-owned restaurant, destroying chairs and tables, and attacking other shops and residents in the area. Police, who were called to the scene, arrived an hour later but did not arrest anyone, according to sources.
The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem called for the “protection of the unarmed people of Old City from radical aggressors who aim to change the diverse character of the city of Jerusalem and its cultural and religious mosaic, determined to limit it to one character being their radical definition and depiction of what a Jewish character should be.”
It added: “The Patriarchate, along with the rest of the churches of Jerusalem, will resist with all their strength, by the mercy of the Lord, the goals of these radicals,” calling upon the Israeli authorities not to allow the repetition of such marches that led to attack on Christians in Jerusalem, and stressing that "it upholds its right to take the necessary legal action to prevent such violent marches from reoccurring."