It's a priest, f**king Jesus": 2 arrested for spitting on Christian cleric in Jerusalem

One of the suspects was recorded on video in the Old City as he swore at the Christian cleric, who complained that he had touched him and spat on him: "Shut up; You want to take a picture of me?"; Both released to house arrest
Police in Jerusalem arrested two suspects on Saturday night after they spat on a Christian cleric in the Old City of Jerusalem and swore at him. The two were interrogated - and sent to house arrest.
One of the suspects, 17, was identified through the Mabat 2000 system in the Jerusalem district, and was arrested by police. Another suspect who was with him at the time of the incident was caught at his home during the night and also taken in for questioning.
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In the video published on social media networks, one of the suspects is seen confronting the Christian cleric. " "Are you touching me? You have no right to touch me," the cleric is heard asking in English, and the suspect replies: "Shut up!" The cleric said: "He spit on me and touched me. The police want me to photograph him." The suspect hissed at him: "You want to take a picture of me? Take a picture of me. This is a priest, my brother. This is what I will do to them, f**cking Jesus."
Israeli teen attacks Christian cleric in Old City of Jerusalem
(Video from X social media platform)

The phenomenon of spitting on Christian clerics in the Old City of Jerusalem has been evident in recent years. In October, five suspects were arrested for spitting during a march in the Old City, a day after another suspect was captured on video spitting at Christian clerics. The video led to condemnations from Israel's chief rabbis, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and many other individuals, even though this is by no means a new phenomenon.
In 2017, Government Minister Itamar Ben-Gavir even spoke out on the subject, saying in an interview with Ynet that "there is an ancient Jewish custom when you pass by a monastery or a priest to spit, you can agree or disagree, but when spitting to the side I don't think it is a crime.
In October, Ben-Gvir claimed in an interview with Ynet that he said these things when he was a private lawyer who represented girls who spit at a monastery. However, in an interview with Galey Israel, he said that, although the act was inappropriate, "I don't like that such things lead to arrest." According to him, it is better to handle such cases through education.
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תיעוד של יריקה לעבר כנסייה והפגנות נגד תיירים נוצרים ברחבי ירושלים
תיעוד של יריקה לעבר כנסייה והפגנות נגד תיירים נוצרים ברחבי ירושלים
Spitting at a church in Jerusalem in 2022
In recent years there has been an increase in the phenomenon. The most common expression for an attack is spitting on the cleric, on his clothes, on the ground or at the entrance to religious buildings. Spitting on a person is considered an assault under criminal law (Article 378) and is punishable by up to one year in prison, and up to two years when it is done on for a religious or nationalist basis.
In June, Father Aran of the Armenian Patriarchate in Jerusalem, told Ynet about the increase in the number of attacks against Christians in Jerusalem . "I heard from our priests that this has happened in the past, but I feel there is an escalation now. Because of the current government, young people feel empowered to do stuff like this more often," he said at the time. We even sent such videos to the Foreign Ministry. "We even sent such videos to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It has been intensifying in recent months. When we go down to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, they spit on us. Tourists ask about it, and we answer that when they see a Greek or Armenian priest with a robe, they spit on them."
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