ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 143

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In Haifa, Herzog and police chief meet Christian leaders to condemn attacks

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai (L), President Isaac Herzog (C), and Latin Patriach Pierbattista Pizzaballa at the Stella Maris Monastery in Haifa, August 9, 2023. (Kobi Gideon/ GPO)
Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai (L), President Isaac Herzog (C), and Latin Patriach Pierbattista Pizzaballa at the Stella Maris Monastery in Haifa, August 9, 2023. (Kobi Gideon/ GPO)

As part of his recent efforts to raise public awareness of the issue of the safety of Israel’s Christian community, President Isaac Herzog visits Haifa’s Stella Maris Monastery to meet with Christian leaders.

“In recent months, we have witnessed extremely serious phenomena in the treatment of members of Christian communities in the Holy Land,” Herzog says in front of the 19th-century Carmelite monastery, “our brothers and sisters, Christian citizens, who feel attacked in their places of prayer and their cemeteries, on the street.”

“It is entirely unacceptable in every way,” says the president.

While there have long been periodic incidents of vandalism and harassment against Christian clergy in Jerusalem’s Old City, there has been a noticeable rise in attacks in recent months. Pointing at the Jewish tradition that the Haifa monastery also houses the grave of the prophet Elisha, members of Breslov Hasidic sect have been showing up at the Catholic complex attempting to pray, leading to a number of physical altercations.

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