Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, on Friday condemned the “dangerous hate crimes and sabotage” against Christian sites in occupied East Jerusalem, a statement announced.
Pizzaballa shared in a statement that a Jewish US citizen broke into the Church of the Flagellation on the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem’s Old City and vandalised a statue of Jesus.
He also confirmed that the incident was the fifth in just a few weeks, noting that tourists were attacked by a Jewish group last week, turning the area into “a battlefield”.
“Two weeks ago, a Christian cemetery in Jerusalem was vandalised, and writings calling for death to Christians were written on the walls of one of the monasteries in the Armenian quarter,” explained Pizzaballa.
He added: “We are following with serious concern, and we strongly condemn the increasing acts of hate and violence against the Christian community in Israel.”
Church leaders have repeatedly urged the Israeli occupation authorities to put an end to the “hate crimes”, but nothing has yet happened.