Jewish extremists force entry into Catholic Mar Elias Monastery in Haifa, Israel

HAIFA, Israel — Instances of harassment and disrespect targeting Christians in Israel continue to increase.

A state of tension prevailed among the attendees of the Syriac-Melkite (Rum) Catholic Mar Elias Church and Monastery in Haifa following the most recent altercation which saw a large group of Jewish extremists bussed to the church and forcing entry into the courtyard to pray.

This is the second attempt in a week to break into the church.

Condemning the provocations by Jewish extremists in Israel, the Islamic-Christian Committee in Support of Jerusalem and its Sanctuaries decried the repeated harassment and attacks on the Mor Elias Church and Monastery in the city of Haifa, describing the acts as “barbaric”.

The Committee’s statement expressed concern over the continuous targeting of the church under the pretext of holding prayers for a Jewish figure allegedly buried in its courtyard, labeling it a severe violation of Palestinian Christian holy places.

“The claim of graves for Jews in churches is a pretext to seize and Judaise these sacred sites, an aggression akin to the attacks witnessed at Al-Aqsa Mosque,” the committee emphasized.

The situation has escalated further since Israel’s most right-wing government assumed power in December. Attacks on Christians in Jerusalem have grown more frequent and violent, with incidents also on the rise in Haifa, according to Wadie Abu Nassar, an adviser to the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land.

Over the past five years, there have been 157 documented attacks on Christian sanctuaries, with 40 of them occurring in the past year alone. The assaults range from desecrating holy places to targeting monks and nuns, with alarming reports of daily incidents in the Old City of Jerusalem.

“The situation has become highly concerning due to the rising frequency of attacks, which now include cases of spitting on monks and nuns,” Mr. Nassar lamented.