Christian graves desecrated in historic Jerusalem cemetery

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JERUSALEM (AP) – Greater than 30 graves in Jerusalem’s historic Christian cemetery have been knocked over and vandalized, the diocese stated Wednesday, stunning the disputed metropolis’s Christian minority.

Israel’s Overseas Ministry known as the assault “an immoral act” and “an insult to faith.” Hossam Naum, the Anglican archbishop of Jerusalem, known as it “a blatant hate crime”. The British consulate stated it was simply the most recent in a sequence of assaults on the Christian neighborhood within the holy metropolis.

Cops had been dispatched to the Protestant cemetery on Mount Zion in Jerusalem to research the blasphemy. Mount Zion, related in Christian custom with the positioning of the Final Supper Jesus shared together with his disciples the night time earlier than his crucifixion, can be sacred to Jews and Muslims and has been on the heart of many years of conflicting Israeli-Palestinian non secular claims. .

Safety digicam footage extensively shared on Sunday confirmed two younger males, each sporting Jewish hats and tzitzits, the ceremonial fringes worn by observant Jews; and damaged tombstones.

One of many destroyed tombs contained a Nineteenth-century bust of Samuel Gobat, the second Protestant bishop of Jerusalem who died in 1879, the Episcopal Diocese stated. The graves of three Palestinian policemen who died in the course of the British mandate had been additionally vandalized.

The diocese warned that the desecration of the cemetery ought to be seen as an ominous warning of “hatred towards Christians”.

“Many stone crosses have been focused by vandals, clearly indicating that these prison acts had been motivated by non secular fanaticism,” it stated, urging authorities to redouble efforts to trace down the perpetrators.

The Protestant cemetery on Mount Zion, outdoors the partitions of Jerusalem’s Previous Metropolis, was established in 1848 and was a part of the territory Israel captured within the 1967 Center East Conflict. The cemetery incorporates the graves of dozens of Palestinian policemen killed in the course of the First and Second World Wars, in addition to Christian leaders who died within the Nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Jewish extremists have broken church property on Mount Zion in recent times. Jews think about Mount Zion the normal burial website of the biblical King David, and a few ultra-Orthodox and nationalist activists have opposed Christian prayer rights on the website. The Jewish seminary referred to as the Yeshiva of the Diaspora occupied many buildings within the Mount Zion advanced.

About 16,000 Christians stay in Jerusalem, the vast majority of whom are Palestinians. Israel considers Jerusalem its everlasting capital, whereas the Palestinians need East Jerusalem to be the capital of their hoped-for impartial state.

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