A Franciscan priest was attacked by a young man at a chapel in Bethlehem in the West Bank after the clergy tried to stop the man and his associate from harassing Christian pilgrims visiting the birthplace of Jesus.
Father Fadi Shalufa, who administers the Catholic Chapel of the Milk Grotto, which is adjacent to the Basilica of the Nativity, escaped with a minor injury, according to The Jerusalem Post.
Palestinian police have reportedly arrested the attackers but their identity has not been disclosed. The attack took place on Friday.
A video posted online by alarab.com shows Fr. Shalufa letting pilgrims in as they were being harassed by two men, one wearing a red shirt and the other in white. The priest closes the gate as the two seek to enter. The priest then exchanges words with the men, and suddenly one of the men reaches into his pocket and pulls out a blunt object and tries to hit him through the gate.
“We thank God that the injury was minor, but this action is a criminal act that is far from our human, moral and national values,” Palestinian Archbishop Atallah Hanna of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem said in a statement. “We reject attacks against clerics.”
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Source: Christian Post