Christians face “persecution” by Israeli extremist groups amid government inaction, the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Jerusalem said on Tuesday.
"We feel persecution against our community and religion,” WCC coordinator in Jerusalem Youssef Daher told Anadolu.
"There is a Jewish Israeli persecution, encouraged either by police negligence or by statements made by Israeli cabinet ministers,” he added.
A video emerged on Monday of Israeli settlers spitting on the ground as a group of Christians left a church in Jerusalem’s Old City.
"If the Israeli police were serious, it would not have allowed such incidents,” Daher said. “There is negligence by the [Israeli] authorities, and this encourages those extremists.”
Daher estimates the number of Palestinian Christians in Jerusalem at around 8,000.
He said Christians documented several assaults against churches in recent months.
“Churches filed complaints with the Israeli police, but nothing happened,” Daher added.
East Jerusalem, which Israel occupied in 1967, is home to several historic and holy sites for Christians, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
*Writing by Ahmed AsmarAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.