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Extremist Jewish settlers attack Christians in Jerusalem

A group of extremist Jewish settlers attacked a gathering of Palestinian Christians in the occupied city of Jerusalem, Israeli radio reported on Friday.

The Israeli settlers, led by the extremist Jewish activist Penzi Gopstein, attacked the gathering which was organised inside a hall on Thursday night whilst chanting anti-Christian slogans and insults.

A lawyer representing the Bishops' Council in Jerusalem, Wadei Abu Nassar, condemned the attack and denounced it as a "provocation."

He called for the Israeli occupation authorities to bring criminal charges against Gopstein and his followers over their continuous "violence" and "incitement."

On Thursday, the Israeli news website Ynet News published a story about Gopstein and his group and how they spread hatred against Palestinians in Jerusalem.

According to Days of Palestine, a Palestinian news monitoring site, a group of Israeli Jewish settlers from the anti-assimilation Lehava organisation headed by Gopstein march every Thursday in Zion Square in Jerusalem and verbally and physically assault Palestinians.

Ynet News reported the head of the Israeli Reform Centre for Religion and State, Rabbi Noa Sattath, as blaming Gopstein for incitement and assaults against Palestinians.

"When Gopstein did not come to Zion Square, when he was under house arrest and when he was recovering from an operation, we saw a decline in violence," she told Ynet News.

The rabbi accused Gopstein of blackmailing Jewish teens: "He works with teenagers that just wander the city aimlessly, giving them a feeling of belonging, and then using them to promote his own racist ideology."

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