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In video - Israeli forces assault priests, detain one in Jerusalem

Oct. 24, 2018 11:49 A.M. (Updated: Oct. 29, 2018 12:55 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces and police assaulted several Coptic Orthodox priests in front of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, and forcefully detained one of them on Wednesday morning.

Prior to the assault, the Coptic Orthodox Church organized a peaceful protest near Deir al-Sultan Monastery, located on the roof of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, against an Israeli decision denying the church the right to conduct the needed renovation work inside the holy site.

It is noteworthy that the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem continues to conduct unauthorized renovation work for the Ethiopian Coptic Church section without the approval of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

Eyewitnesses said that Israeli soldiers and police officers surrounded the priests who were protesting, before assaulting and pushing them with excessive use of force, causing them several injuries.

Witnesses added that the Israeli police forcibly removed the priests and detained one of them, before allowing the Israeli municipality workers into the holy site.

The story continues below.

The Islamic Christian Committee to Defend Jerusalem and Holy Sites condemned the assault on the Coptic Orthodox priests and denounced the intervention of Israeli authorities in the renovation works of the holy site.

The committee pointed out that it is not within its jurisdiction to intervene in issues of occupied East Jerusalem, considering the area is subjected to the rules of international humanitarian law (IHL).

The committee called upon the Egyptian government and the Christian world to immediately intervene to stop Israeli authorities from these attacks and not to enter the holy site under the pretext of restoration, since the Coptic Orthodox Church is the only authorized body to do so.

The committee also called on the world to stand by the Palestinian right to sovereignty over its land in the holy city and the rest of its other occupied territories, and to stop the measures carried out by the Israeli occupation in violation of the resolutions of international law and international humanitarian law.

The video below shows Israeli forces assaulting a Coptic priest during detention:
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