Photo: AP
Designated Palestinian prime minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas
Photo: AP

Hamas blames 'hate culture' for Church attack

Hamas' designated Palestinian prime minister Ismail Haniyeh says attack at the Church of Annunciation in Nazareth is result of 'a hate culture which Israel is feeding its public against the Palestinians'

Ismail Haniyeh, the designated Palestinian prime minister from the Islamic Hamas group, held Israel responsible for Friday’s attack in the Church of Annunciation in Nazareth, saying the attack is the result "of a hate culture which Israel is feeding its public against the Palestinians, and their Christian and Islamic holy places and believers."


Haim Habibi, a Jew, his Christian wife Violet, and their 20-year-old daughter entered the church disguised as pilgrims on Friday evening and set off firecrackers. They were locked by police in a small room inside the church compound for three hours to protect them from angry pilgrims and protesters.


MK Sana calls for U.N. protection


MK Talab el-Sana called on Israel’s Arabs to appeal to the United Nation for protection. The Arab MK held the Israeli government “responsible for the criminal acts in Nazareth and not securing Muslim and Christian shrines. The government always argues that the assailants are mentally unstable.”


Archbishop Elias Shakur, the top Roman Catholic official in Nazareth, called for better protection of Christians and their holy sites in Israel.


He also issued a call for unity among Israel's citizens and dismissed the attackers as lone extremists. While praising the Israeli response, he said "It is not enough."


Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni called her Vatican counterpart Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo to assure that Israeli authorities “will do our all to protect the holy sites of all faiths.”


Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called Nazareth mayor Ramez Jaraisi, asking for calm and pledging that the police will thoroughly investigate the incident.


Olmert also spoke with Internal Security Minister Gideon Ezra and police chief Moshe Karadi and asked for vigilance in the police’s handling of the event to prevent deterioration.


פרסום ראשון: 03.04.06, 13:32
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