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Church Committee: Israel's attack on Christians ‘violation’ of international law

April 17, 2023 at 1:56 pm

Israeli forces blocked the entrance of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for the Orthodox Christians during the “Holy Fire” mass in East Jerusalem on April 15, 2023. [Mostafa Alkharouf – Anadolu Agency]

The Higher Presidential Committee for Church Affairs yesterday condemned Israel’s attack on Christian monks, clerics and other worshippers participating in the Holy Saturday celebrations in occupied Jerusalem as “violations” of international law.

“For days, the Israeli police has been threatening to impose a closure on the Holy City, and asked churches to reduce the number of participants and those allowed to enter the Church of the Holy Sepulchre,” Ramzi Khoury, the head of the committee, said.

“Since this morning, the Israeli police has been transforming the city into a military barracks, and barriers have been deployed at all entrances and around the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.”

Khoury stressed that Israel does not care about international laws that guarantee freedom of worship and the unimpeded practice of religious rituals.

“The attacks against Christians today [Saturday] come in the same context of the attacks against Muslim worshippers in Al-Aqsa Mosque,” Khoury said.

“It has become clear that the Israeli occupation government is not concerned with achieving calm, but is rather interested in escalation and violence, working with all its means to provoke the sentiments of Muslim and Christian worshippers,” he added.

Khoury urged the international community and human rights institutions to take immediate action against Israel’s violation of the sanctity of the holy sites, and to put an end to the Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people.

READ: Israel is haunting Al-Aqsa to scare Palestinian worshippers away