The incident occurred at the Tomb of the Virgin Mary in Jerusalem as Christians mark Lent.
Worshippers visit the tomb of the Virgin Mary in Jerusalem on March 19 following an attack by Israelis. (Photo: AFP)
Published: March 20, 2023 04:42 AM GMT
The Greek Orthodox Church on Sunday denounced what it called a “heinous terrorist attack” on a church at the Tomb of the Virgin Mary in Jerusalem.
Israeli police had said earlier in the day that a 27-year-old resident of southern Israel had been arrested over “a violent incident” at the church in annexed east Jerusalem, without providing further details on the suspect’s identity.
The Greek Orthodox Church said it “denounces the attempt to cause physical harm to Archbishop Joachim, who was leading the service, as well as the attack on one of the priests in the church”.
In a statement, it called for “international protection of holy sites”.
“Terrorist attacks, by radical Israeli groups, targeting churches, cemeteries, and Christian properties… have become almost a daily occurrence that evidently increases in intensity during Christian holidays,” it said.
The incident occurred as Christians mark Lent.
Bilal Abu Nab, a vendor who works near the church, told AFP that the attack was committed by two Jewish men, one wearing a yarmulke and the other wearing a tzitzit.
He said a priest had been injured in the forehead, and police were called but arrived more than half an hour later.
Without mentioning a second assailant, the police said the apprehended suspect entered the church with an iron bar and that there were no injuries.
Attacks on Christian sites in Jerusalem are not uncommon.
READ ON BELOW…Greek patriarchate decries ‘attack’ at Jerusalem church – UCA News
Greek patriarchate decries ‘attack’ at Jerusalem church – UCA News