Bethlehem: Mar Charbel Monastery set on fire
BETHLEHEM – On September 26th, 2015, the monastery of Mar Charbel in Bethlehem has been ablaze, resulting in the burning of many rooms and damaging various parts of the building.
In the aftermath of the fire, the governor and the mayor of Bethlehem, the chief of police, the national security director and the head of Intelligence, went and inspect the monastery accompanied by Mgr William Shomali, and a number of priests from Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Beit Sahour.
A criminal investigation has been opened to determine the causes of this fire.
Since last June, restoration work is underway after a 15-year closure of the monastery for administrative reasons. The Palestinian national fund, under the recommendation of president Mahmoud Abbas, has given the monastery 100, 000 dollars for restoration. The covenant, which follows the Maronite Church in the Holy Land, was founded in 1983 and had offered accommodation for pilgrims and teaching rooms for students of Bethlehem University.