Palestinian Pastor Released After Being Jailed for Meeting With Israeli Leader

JERUSALEM, Israel – Palestinian authorities on Monday released an evangelical pastor who spent 40 days in jail for meeting with a former member of Israel’s parliament.

Pastor Johnny Shahwan, a Palestinian Christian from Bethlehem, runs a ministry called Beit al Liqa, which serves local families through faith-based programs. Palestinian police shut down Beit al Liqa and arrested Shahwan following reports that Israeli politician and rabbi, Yehudah Glick, had visited the ministry.

Outraged Palestinians called Glick an “extremist” and the Beit al Liqa organization a “traitor” to the Palestinian people for allegedly hosting the visit. Glick is known for regularly praying on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, which is considered by Palestinians to be a strictly Islamic holy site.

Shahwan faced charges of “undermining the national sentiments [of Palestinians], stirring up sectarian strife and insulting the prestige of the [Palestinian] state.” If convicted, he would have faced prison time and hard labor, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group called Glick’s visit a “national crime” and several unidentified gunmen reportedly opened fire on the ministry’s building. No one was harmed.

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Source: CBN