Christian Graves Desecrated in Historic Jerusalem Cemetery

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Last Updated: January 04, 2023, 22:00 IST

Jewish extremists have defaced church property on Mount Zion in the past years. (Photo: Reuters)

Jewish extremists have defaced church property on Mount Zion in the previous years. (Photo: Reuters)

Some 16,000 Christians reside in Jerusalem, the vast majority of whom are Palestinian. Israel claims Jerusalem as its everlasting capital, whereas Palestinians need east Jerusalem because the capital for his or her hoped-for unbiased state

More than 30 graves at a historic Christian cemetery in Jerusalem have been discovered toppled and vandalized, the diocese mentioned Wednesday, jolting the Christian minority in the contested metropolis.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry known as the assault an “immoral act” and “an affront to faith.” Jerusalem’s Anglican Archbishop Hosam Naoum called it a “clear hate crime.” The British consulate said it was just the latest in a string of assaults on the Christian community in the holy city of Jerusalem.

Police officers were sent to the Protestant Cemetery on Jerusalem’s Mount Zion to investigate the profanation. Mount Zion, associated in Christian tradition with the site of the Last Supper that Jesus shared with his disciples the night before his crucifixion, is also sacred to Jews and Muslims and has been at the center of competing religious claims throughout the decadeslong Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Widely shared security camera footage on Sunday showed two young men — both wearing a Jewish skullcap and tzitzit, the knotted ritual fringes worn by observant Jews — breaking into the cemetery, knocking over stone crosses and smashing and stomping on tombstones, leaving a trail of debris and broken headstones.

Among the destroyed tombs was one containing a 19th century bust of Samuel Gobat, the second Protestant Bishop in Jerusalem who died in 1879, the Episcopal diocese said. The graves of three Palestinian police officers who died during in the British mandate years were also vandalized.

The diocese cautioned that the desecration of the cemetery must be seen as an ominous warning about “hatred against Christians.”

“Many stone crosses were the targets of the vandals, clearly indicating that these criminal acts were motivated by religious bigotry,” it mentioned, urging authorities to redouble efforts to seek out the perpetrators.

The Protestant Cemetery on the honored Mount Zion simply exterior Jerusalem’s Old City partitions was established in 1848 and was a part of territory that Israel seized in the 1967 Mideast struggle. The cemetery homes the graves of dozens of Palestinian law enforcement officials killed throughout the First and Second World Wars in addition to Christian leaders who died in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Jewish extremists have defaced church property on Mount Zion in the previous years. Jews contemplate Mount Zion the standard burial place of the biblical King David and a few ultra-Orthodox and nationalist activists have opposed Christian prayer rights on the web site. A Jewish seminary referred to as the Diaspora Yeshiva has taken over many buildings in the Mount Zion compound.

Some 16,000 Christians reside in Jerusalem, the vast majority of whom are Palestinian. Israel claims Jerusalem as its everlasting capital, whereas Palestinians need east Jerusalem because the capital for his or her hoped-for unbiased state.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 workers and is revealed from a syndicated information company feed)

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