ERUSALEM (CNS) — Unrest flared in early October throughout the West Bank and Jerusalem, which has experienced tensions during September, largely over the status of the contested holy site of the Temple Mount or Haram al-Sharif.
Four Israelis were killed in the Old City of Jerusalem: a couple driving near their West Bank settlement with their four children in the back of their car, and two men, one of whom was on his way to pray at the Western Wall at the end of the Jewish Sabbath; his wife and toddler were injured in the attack. An ultra-Orthodox teenage boy was later stabbed near the same place.
Catholic News Service was unable to reach the Franciscan custos of the Holy Land or the Franciscan St. Saviour Parish in the Old City for comment.
Palestinians said the attacks were reprisals for the killing of a young Palestinian woman by Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint near Hebron, West Bank, as well as the shooting of another Palestinian man on the eve of the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday, not far from where the couple was murdered. Media reported the 19-year-old Palestinian who carried out the Old City attack had posted on Facebook that Palestinians would not accept Israel’s attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque and declared the start of the third intifada, or Palestinian uprising.
The Israeli Defense Forces carried out raids in the West Bank against suspected terrorists, but the Israeli Haaretz newspaper quoted an IDF source as saying that Israel was reluctant to deal a collective punishment to the Palestinian public. The source counseled restraint in dealing with the situation in order not to set off a third intifada. One Palestinian was killed in rioting in Bethlehem Oct. 5.
Meanwhile, in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestinian police continued their investigation into a Sept. 26 fire at the Maronite Monastery of St. Charbel and have arrested several suspects in what they said was a work-dispute-related incident. The fire caused extensive damage; the structure was undergoing renovations at the time, and there was no working electricity.
However, Deacon Sobhy Makhoul, Maronite Patriarchate chancellor, initially said the attack was sectarian in nature and called it arson by extremist Muslims in the predominantly Muslim neighborhood. Deacon Makhoul was out of the country in early October and could not be reached for comment.
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103