January 27th, 2023
“For Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep silent...” (Isaia 62, 1-2)
Last night, a large group of Israeli settlers, carrying flags, chanting and shouting, entered the New Gate. Some tourists were sitting in a restaurant, enjoying the peaceful atmosphere of the neighborhood, when suddenly this group started harassing them and destroying chairs and tables of the shops and restaurants located there. This unprovoked violence instilled fear in the shopkeepers and residents of the Christian quarter as well as visitors. It did not end until the police came, one hour later, and took the attackers away.
It is only the latest in a series of episodes of religious violence that is affecting the symbols of the Christian community and beyond.
In the name of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, we condemn such attacks and express our concern for the escalation of violence in the Holy City. This happened in the street which leads to the Holy Sepulcher, the most sacred Christian place in the world, and in the Christian Quarter which hosts many monasteries and churches.
It is a priority that the political and religious authorities work according to their own responsibility to bring the civil and religious life of the city back to greater serenity. Jerusalem must remain the homeland of believers of all faiths and not hostage to radical groups.