Israel: Churches

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 24th September 2015.

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Photo of The Bishop of Coventry The Bishop of Coventry Bishop

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their current assessment of the number of "price tag" attacks on church property in Israel.

Photo of Baroness Anelay of St Johns Baroness Anelay of St Johns Minister of State

We condemn all extremist violence, including those attacks against religious buildings. Whilst most ‘price tag’ attacks have taken place in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, we are aware that on 18 June the Benedictine Church of the Multiplication at Tabgha, on the Sea of Galilee, was set on fire and vandalised with graffiti. Officials from our Embassy in Tel Aviv raised this at the time with the Israeli Foreign Ministry and National Security Council. Although it did not occur in Israel, it is worth noting the arson attack that took place in February on a Greek Orthodox seminary in East Jerusalem, again with inflammatory graffiti. We are also aware that Muslim and Jewish holy places are desecrated and we unequivocally condemn all such incidents. On 10 September the Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron), and the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), raised their concerns for peace in the region with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

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