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Orthodox Jews attempt to burn Jerusalem church

Two Ultra Orthodox Jews look at graffiti on the wall of a church reading in Hebrew "King David king of the Jews and Jesus is garbage, Price tag" on May 9, 2014 in Jerusalem [THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images]
Two Ultra Orthodox Jews look at graffiti on the wall of a church reading in Hebrew "King David king of the Jews and Jesus is garbage, Price tag" on May 9, 2014 in Jerusalem [THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images]

The Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land (ACOHL) yesterday condemned repeated Israeli settler attacks against the Romanian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem, a statement said.

ACOHL's statement came following an attempt by Orthodox Jews to set fire to the entrance of the church located in Jerusalem's neighbourhood of Musrara, which is close to the Jewish Quarter.

The statement stated that the local priest managed to extinguish the fire quickly, noting that the recordings of surveillance cameras showed Orthodox Jews carrying out the offensive.

"This act of vandalism is the fourth in a month that targeted the same monastery; according to the authorities, some religious Orthodox Jews are suspected as the probable assailants," ACOHL said in a statement.

"We, Catholic Churches, unite with the Orthodox Churches and all other Christian communities of Jerusalem and strongly condemn such acts of vandalism that offend not only the life of Christians but also of many who still believe in dialogue and mutual respect," the statement added.

It stressed that "these acts are contrary to the spirit of peaceful coexistence among the different religious communities of the city," calling on the Israeli authorities to open a serious investigation into the attack and prosecute the assailants.

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"All political and religious authorities of the City should unite in condemning these acts," the statement said.

Meanwhile, Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Atallah Hanna said: "We deplore and condemn this vandalism which stems from racism against churches, Christianity and Christian symbols carried out by groups bearing fanatical ideologies, rejecting others and disrespecting their privacy."

He referred to the repeated offensives as "an action aimed to push the monks out from this monastery through terrorising them, and might be a message that the Christians are not accepted in this area."

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