Vandalism at the Dormition: two suspects under arrest
Jerusalem – “Death to the heathen Christians, the enemies of Israel”, “Let his (Jesus’) name and memory be obliterated” and “Christians to Hell”. These are some of the slogans that were found on the doors and walls of the Dormition Abbey.
Two days after the vandalism of the Dormition Abbey in Mount Zion, the police arrested two Jewish guys, aged 15 and 16, suspected in carrying out the attack. The two suspects were interrogated Wednesday morning and are expected to appear in the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court. Their detention might be prolonged.
Bishop William Shomali, Patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem, said that the age of the two suspects – 15 and 16 – shows that a change in the education system is needed for these young people who are “encased in intolerance”.
The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that “this is an action deserving of every condemnation. There is no place for actions like these. Israel is a country where Christians and other religions enjoy freedom of worship”.
The Dormition Abbey has always been the target of many attacks. In May 2014- just after the visit of Pope Francis- and February 2015, arsonists set fire to the church. In 2012 and 2013, anti-Christian slogans were sprayed on the walls of the building.
The Dormition Abbey, Bet Gemal, Dair Rafat, Tabgha and Latroun are the holy Christian places that were targeted in the last few years. These attacks generally bear the hallmark of the Jewish extremist movement known as “price tag”.