Religious tension is mounting in the Palestinian territories, as attacks are made on a number of important sites.
Residents in the West Bank village of Jaloud have accused a group of Israeli settlers of attacking a school and burning olive trees.
Jaloud is situated next to a Jewish settlement outpost, whose residents have clashed with local Palestinians in the past.
Israel has also seen recent attacks, mainly on religious sites. Four young Israeli settlers from the West Bank have been arrested in connection with an attack on the Protestant Cemetery of Mount Zion.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, said that it was important to keep a grounded perspective on the situation:
“This is something that we see as a local incident. It’s not organised terrorism, it’s certainly not on the level of terrorism. These youths are not walking around armed, not even with knives or anything like that. So we have to put things into proportion.”
Fouad Twal, Jerusalem’s Latin Patriarch agreed, saying that youngsters can be easily corrupted, so preventative measures must be put in place from an early age:“Go to the roots, to the cause, to the school, to the education, for the well-being of all our society in Jerusalem and in Israel,” he said.
Palestinian Christians took to the streets on October 6, to protest against the attack on the Mount Zion cemetery.
The vandalism struck a particularly raw nerve, as some of the damaged graves belonged to key figures from 19th and 20th centuries – important periods in Jerusalem’s history. The most notable of the damaged graves belonged to Johann Ludwig Schneller, who founded an orphanage and designed the most advanced printing press in 19th-century Jerusalem.
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