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Palestinian Ambassador Condemns Desecration of Christian Gravesites in Jerusalem

HeadlineJan 05, 2023

The Anglican Church has expressed “dismay” over an attack on a Christian cemetery close to Jerusalem’s walled Old City. Security camera footage taken on New Year’s Day shows two men entering the graveyard, toppling a cross-shaped tombstone and smashing it to pieces. More than 30 gravesites were damaged. Jerusalem’s Anglican archbishop called the desecration a “clear hate crime” carried out by “Jewish extremists.” The incident came days after Israel swore in the most far-right government in its history, led by ultrareligious and ultranationalist members. Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour addressed the incident at the United Nations on Wednesday.

Riyad Mansour: “You’ve seen by now that there are crosses over, you know, graveyards being trampled upon and attacked by extreme settlers. This is a toxic environment. The international community has to speak with one voice in rejecting this extremism and rejecting those terrorists and those elements of fascists in the Israeli government.”

The U.N. Security Council has scheduled an emergency meeting at the request of the U.N.'s Palestinian delegation, after Israel's new national security minister, the ultranationalist politician Itamar Ben-Gvir, visited the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem. In Washington, D.C., U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price was critical of Ben-Gvir’s visit, which other nations have condemned as a “provocative act.”

Ned Price: “We stand firmly for preservation of the historic status quo with respect to the holy sites in Jerusalem. Any unilateral actions that depart from that historic status quo is unacceptable.”

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