Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries condemns desecration of Salesian Cemetery in Beit Jamal

RAMALLAH, Thursday, The Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land (ACOHL) Thursday condemned the vandalism of the cemetery of the Salesian Monastery at Beit Jamal, west of Jerusalem.

ACOHL condemned the desecration of the Salesian Monastery at Beit Jamal, where the monks responsible for its upkeep reportedly found some 30 headstones smashed on Wednesday.

It is of regret and anger to see ourselves busy condemning such criminal acts, which were repeated many times in recent years, while we almost don’t see security and/or educational treatment to this dangerous phenomenon by the state authorities, especially while top officials in the country claim as if Christians are doing very well in it, said the Assembly in a statement.

This was not the first time that the cemetery of Beit Jamal monastery has been vandalized. Back in 2013, an incendiary bomb was hurled at the door of the monastery and price tag, name of a Jewish terrorist group, and death to the Gentiles slogans were spray-painted at the wall of the complex.

The cemetery was also targeted in December 2015 and January 2016, when the cross and some statutes were found knocked over.

Despite Israeli police’s report that they have opened an investigation to identify assailants, ACOHL recalled that in the two mentioned cases, the security services failed to bring anybody to justice for these acts and expressed their wonder if today incident would meet a similar fate.

The Assembly demanded the state, with all its relevant bodies, to work for punishing the attackers and educate the people not to make similar offenses.

Meanwhile, Secretary-General of the Higher Presidential Committee for Church Affairs Hanna Issa decried the attack, which came two days after Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that Israel is the only country in the Middle East where the Christian community thrives and grows.

Israeli media refers to such attacks as carried out by the terror group, Price Tag. However, the Israeli government still refuses to label it as a terrorist organization and considers it only as group of vandals. It also considers such acts as hate crimes against Palestinians.

Settler violence against Palestinians and their property is routine in the West Bank and is rarely prosecuted by Israeli authorities.

Settlers’ violence includes property, mosque and church arsons, stone-throwing, uprooting of trees, attacks on vulnerable homes, among others.

Source: Palestinian News and Info Agency