Jerusalem Church Leader Says Israeli Extremists Threaten Christian Presence

Days Of Palestine – Jerusalem – The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of the occupied Palestinian city of Jerusalem says extremist Israeli groups are threatening the presence of Christians in the holy city as the Israeli regime continues assaulting places of worship.

In a column in the Times of London on Saturday, Theophilos III said he believed the aim is to relocate the Christian community from Jerusalem, which has sites sacred to Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

“Our presence” in Jerusalem is “under threat,” the patriarch wrote in the article, adding, “Our churches are threatened by Israeli radical fringe groups.”

He added that the Christian community in Jerusalem is suffering by “the Israelis.”

“Our brothers and sisters are the victims of hate crimes. Our churches are regularly desecrated and vandalized. Our clergy are subject to frequent intimidation,” Theophilos said.

In December, patriarchs and heads of churches in Jerusalem said extremist Jewish groups are trying to drive Christians out of the holy city, arguing that Israeli authorities have failed to curb assaults against members of the religious community and desecration of their sites.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Jerusalem.

All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law as they are built on occupied land. The United Nations Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

(Source / 11.01.2022)

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