Dr. Erekat: In Reaction to Arson Attack on Monastery of Notre-Dame de Sept-Douleurs:
“Israeli Government is Responsible for Settler Terrorism”
Chief Palestinian negotiator, Dr. Saeb Erekat, strongly condemned the latest settler attack against the Monastery of Notre-Dame de Sept-Douleurs, in Latrun, in the occupied West Bank. Israeli settlers burnt the entrance of the church and sprayed “Jesus is a monkey” on the monastery door.
“This latest attack provides further confirmation of the culture of hatred and racism espoused by the settlers who enjoy full immunity, which has given them confidence that they can attack mosques, churches, trees, cars, homes as well as our own people without consequence. The settlers’ actions amount to terrorism.
“We hold the Israeli government fully responsible for these escalating acts, which have been encouraged for years by providing incentives to Israelis to live in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, which is contrary to international law. The Israeli Government has failed to hold these terrorists accountable for their actions.”
“Israeli attacks against Christian and Muslim holy places are not isolated incidents. In the past month, 57 attacks have been carried out by Israeli settlers against Palestinian communities. They are part of a clear policy conducted by Israeli terrorists. When members of Knesset call for the destruction of the Holy Aqsa Mosque or publicly tear a Bible without facing any consequences, this is incitement for terror attacks against Muslim and Christian holy sites.”
Dr. Erekat called upon the international community to hold Israel accountable for its colonization policies, including violent attacks conducted by Israeli settlers and occupation forces. “The inaction of the international community has created a culture of impunity. The world cannot do 'business as usual’ with Israel, while Palestinians live in fear due to the culture of hatred and racism imposed by the Israeli occupation.”
The Monastery of Notre-Dame de Sept-Douleurs is located in Latrun, in the occupied West Bank. It is near the biblical village of Imwas and the villages of Yilu and Beit Nuba, all destroyed by Israel after the 1967 occupation.