Christian Leaders in the West Bank Urge Palestinian Authority to Investigate Attacks on Churches

Palestinian Christians attend a service on Easter Sunday, April 1, at the Saint Porfirios Church in Gaza City. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Christian leaders in the West Bank called on the Palestinian Authority to launch an investigation into two recent attacks on churches near Ramallah and Bethlehem.

On May 16, assailants broke into the Church of God in the village of Aboud, west of Ramallah, the Holy Land Church organization said in a statement.

The perpetrators stole some of the contents of the church, it said, without providing further details.

“We pray in solidarity with this church and for the repentance of the aggressors,” the organization said in its statement. “We also call on the responsible authorities to lay their hands on the perpetrators and bring them to justice as soon as possible.”

Photos released by the organization showed damaged furniture and smashed windows inside the Church of God.

Pastor Abdallah Khoury said he was in touch with the PA authorities concerning the break-in and sabotage. He called on the PA to take the necessary measures to bring the criminals to court. “The attack on the church and the stealing of its contents is very dangerous,” he said. “This matter needs to be taken seriously.”

The bulk of the village is located in Area C of the West Bank, which is under Israeli military and civilian control.

Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said there was damage caused to a number of vehicles in the village and an investigation is taking place into the incident.

On May 14, Christians reported that a similar incident took place at Saint Charbel Monastery in Bethlehem.

The Holy Land Council of Bishops condemned what it called the “robbery” of the monastery, which is affiliated with the Lebanese Maronite Order, in downtown Bethlehem.

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SOURCE: Jerusalem Post, Khaled Abu Toameh