Ikrit, Israel, June 30, 2015
Despite a wave of protests following a series of desecration and even destruction of Israeli churches by fundamentalists of various kinds, the country’s authorities are apparently encouraging such acts, reports the Linga portal with the reference to the Bokra news agency.
On Monday morning, June 29, 2015, Israeli police officers accompanied by officials of the Israeli Land Administration, burst into the neglected church standing on the territory of the former (now non-existent) Palestinian village of Ikrit. Though residents of this settlement were expelled as early as in 1948 and their lands were given to local kibbutzim (communal settlements in Israel), the church in Ikrit for many years remained a site of pilgrimages and prayer for Christians living in neighboring villages.
According to the evidence of Na’im Haddad, a parishioner of the Ikrit church, who witnessed the act of vandalism, representatives of the local executive power were actively destroying the church interior, absolutely ignoring the Christians who were present there. “Suddenly they stormed into the church and “confiscated” the pews… Then they broke the furniture and cut down many trees that grew near the church,” Haddad said.
Nevertheless, Christians are intending to continue prayer gatherings in this (currently unused) Catholic church which is so dear to their hearts. “As soon as the vandals left I rang the bells. They are the symbols of our patience, and they will sound in the ears of the fanatics, however much they would be destroying and robbing,” said Haddad in conclusion.