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Israel: occupation state faces NGO complaint about police treatment of Christian pilgrims

Orthodox Christians attend a service at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem 23 April 2022 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]
Orthodox Christians attend a service at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem 23 April 2022 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

The judicial department of the Israeli Reform Centre for Religion and State has lodged a complaint against the police service for failing to prevent Haredi Jews attacking Christian pilgrims in Jerusalem, Al-Quds Al-Araby reported on Sunday. The NGO's attorney sent a formal letter to Public Security Minister Omer Barlev and Police Inspector General Yaakov Shabtai on 23 July 2022.

According to the report, the Haredi youths attacked 140 Christian priests on 14 July as they performed a pilgrimage in Jerusalem's Old City. The letter pointed out that they stopped to rest in the Jewish Quarter, where the Haredi youths attacked and insulted them.

When the police arrived, it is alleged that they did not stop the attack, which included physical aggression and chemicals thrown at the priests. The Christian group arrived at the Buraq ("Western") Wall only to find another group of Haredi youths waiting for them to attack again.

The lawyer pointed out that the danger of the incident lies in the length of time that the attack took place in the presence of police officers. This was not an isolated incident, the NGO added. Similar attacks have happened before.

A campaign run by the Council of Churches of the Holy Land has reported such attacks on Christians. The Israeli NGO called on the police to make sure that such incidents are not repeated.

Israel is violating Islamic, Christian sanctities in Jerusalem

Israel is violating Islamic, Christian sanctities in Jerusalem – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

READ: Israel court orders settlers to evacuate Christian properties in Jerusalem

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