By Robin Gomes
The Catholic Bishops of the Holy Land have denounced the recent acts of intimidation against local Christian communities by extremist Jewish groups backing the settlers’ movement.
Friday morning, unknown assailants in Jish, in upper Galilee, damaged cars and wrote slogans in offensive Hebrew against Christians.
Earlier on July 12, participants in a celebration held in the parish Church of St. James in Beit Hanina, a suburb of East Jerusalem, were pelted by tomatoes and other objects by some of the residents of the nearby Jewish settlement of Naveh Yaacov.
In the case of Jish, the intimidation is linked to groups that in recent years have in various ways targeted mosques or Christian places such as in Tabgha, Beit Jamal, Latrun and the Dormition.
Such crimes known as “price tag” attacks are reprisals against Palestinians, Christians and Israeli security forces by radical Israeli settlers, who, so to say, exact a price for any action or criticism against their settlement.
Such “price tag” attacks and profanations against Christian monasteries, churches and cemeteries began in February 2012. Since then, extremist militants from groups close to the settler movement have been carrying out attacks against mosques frequented by the Palestinian Arabs of the Islamic religion.
The Assembly of the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land issued a statement on Friday in which, among other things, they expressed sadness and sorrow for the continuing criminal acts, which they say go unpunished, despite numerous complaints.
In May 2016, the Israeli-based Association of Rabbis for Human Rights also launched a campaign to raise awareness among Israeli political forces regarding the attacks on Christian and Muslim religious targets by extremist gangs. (Source: Fides)