Two Israeli settlers attacked clerics and worshippers at a church in East Jerusalem on Sunday, in what has become known as the Ramallah attack.


According to the Jerusalem Governorate, settlers stormed the Church of the Tomb of the Virgin Mary, attempted to vandalize it, and hurled insults at the building’s worshippers.

Hamza Ajaj, an American citizen, confronted the settlers, leading to the arrest of one and the escape of the other.

Eyewitness After hearing that two settlers had broken into the church, Bilal Abu Nab reportedly rushed there and saw one of them standing on the steps shouting. The other one attacked priests and worshippers with a nail-studded stick.

He also said that one of the priests had been hit in the forehead.

According to the locals, it took the police more than 30 minutes to arrive.

The former head of the Lutheran Union, Archbishop Munib Younan, told Arab News that this was the sixth attack on Christian holy sites in Jerusalem this year.

He condemned the attack and said, “As Palestinians, together with our Christian and Muslim brothers, we will remain in Jerusalem no matter how many times we are attacked.”

Younan said he disagrees with Israeli authorities’ efforts to prove that the attackers suffer from mental illness.

The political crisis in Jerusalem, he said, was transformed into a religious conflict, which Christians would not accept.

Also, “the heads of Christian churches are concerned about the continuation of the Christian presence in the Holy Land if the attacks continue,” he said.

Wadih Abu Nassar, an advisor to church leaders in the Holy Land, agreed that Israeli police frequently released perpetrators on the grounds of a lack of evidence because they believed the offenders to be mentally ill.

Church watchdog group the Higher Presidential Committee on Church Affairs condemned the attack.

The committee’s head, Ramzi Khoury, expressed disapproval of the incident, noting that it occurred before Ramadan and as Christian holidays drew near.

As a result, he demanded that the United Nations, the International Criminal Court, and the churches of the world immediately take action against current Israeli practices, including the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the continued attacks on churches.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, meanwhile, has condemned the attack and demanded effective international and American intervention to prevent further encroachment by settlers on Palestinian territory and religious sites.