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Settlers raise Israeli flag over West Bank church
Published Friday 19/04/2013 (updated) 21/04/2013 14:26
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A monk stands next to graffiti sprayed on a wall at the entrance to
the Latrun Monastery near Jerusalem September 4, 2012.
(Reuters/Baz Ratner)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers on Friday took over a monastery in a village near Ramallah and raised an Israeli flag over the building.

Priest Aziz Raei told Ma'an that Israeli settlers used force to occupy the monastery and its adjacent chapel in al-Taybeh, a Christian village in the central West Bank.

They raised a flag over the monastery, which was built by a French monk.
1 ) Maisie / UK
19/04/2013 16:50
They couldn't get away with that sort of behaviour in, say, Brooklyn. These animals should be in cages, rather than imprisoning Palestinians.

2 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
19/04/2013 17:02
The vast majority of us think these guys are hooligans. If Islamic whackos took over a synagogue and raised a Palestinian flag, what would the vast majority of Palestinians think?

3 ) Ajibola Hasan / Nigeria
19/04/2013 17:14
Settlers are the main and obvious world terrorist.

4 ) Robert Haymond / Yehuda, Israel
19/04/2013 17:23
Israel is the only country in the Mideast where the Christian population has increased (significantly). In all other countries and areas, i.e., Westbank and Gaza, the Christian population has decreased drastically. If Israeli troops did actually "take over" a monastery, it would likely have been in order to protect it from its Islamic neighbours. Maan, in its consistently absent way, just reports the barebones of the story, leaving the readership to interpret its usual anti-Israeli way.

5 ) Imraan / South Africa
19/04/2013 17:46
Now the settlers are starting with the Christein faith.

6 ) Zainab / UK
19/04/2013 18:42
It is so sad to learn what the 'settlers' have done to these places of Christain worship, not forgetting that the monastries are also a permanant home to the monks. The 'settlers' have no respect for anything or anyone & the Israeli government allows them to get away with their crimes against Palestine & the Palestinian people all the time. Western media shows nothing of what is going on in Palestine, so no one is really aware of the continual desecration of Christian & Muslim holy places at all

7 ) ........... / ........
19/04/2013 18:50
disgraceful.why dont they go home

8 ) Deacon Duncan / UK
19/04/2013 19:55
The priest was Blessed Charles de Foucauld French-born, explorer, linguist and hermit who was beatified by the Catholic Church in 2005. He was in Taybeh in 1889 My late friend Aude Rantisi, Palestinian Anglican clergyman and deputy mayor of Ramallah, once asked me what Christianity, Islam and Judaism had in common. I thought, 'Something to do with monotheism or Abraham.' His answer was different, 'Each has its funny-mentalists.' Can Israel not do about its funny-mentalists?

9 ) Colin Wright / USA
19/04/2013 20:47
This is what we pay $3 billion a year for -- I guess.

10 ) Colin South / UK
19/04/2013 20:49
I hope that the Israeli Authorites behave with integrity and within International Law and with the justice and compassion of the Law and the Prophets and oust any attempt of Israeli Settlers to consolidate such an illegal and disgracefiul act. My prayers to the One God arer with the Latrun Christian Community. God less you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you.

11 ) Diane / USA
20/04/2013 00:11
The world is divesting from Israel in response to its ongoing oppression of the Palestinians. Israel is an apartheid State and violates international law with its illegal occupation, among so many other crimes against humanity. Israel should be brought before the World Court. It's a joke that the Christian population in Palestine is growing. It is NOT. Christians in Palestine have been decimated. Don't be duped by Israeli lies.

12 ) walt kovacs / usa
20/04/2013 00:20
if this story is true, why use a pic of vandalism from a year ago?

13 ) John Harper / Canada
20/04/2013 00:44
Robert Haymond / Yehuda, Israel19/04/2013 17:23

"Israel is the only country in the Mideast where the Christian population has increased (significantly)."

As a church pastor working in the missionary projects, I can attest that this is not true. In fact, had I disclosed my profession to the Israeli customs, I would be sent back to Canada on the next plane because Israel do not allow for proletyzation of any religion except for Judiasm in that country.

14 ) Peter Lake / Canada
20/04/2013 03:39
Brian Cohen. These whackos shouldn't be there anyway. End your illegal occupation, tear down or turn over the settlements, tear down that part of the separation wall that crosses the green line and give back the 20%or so of Palestine so that they may have a workable state. It's your only hope for Israel to be a Jewish and non-apartheid state.

15 ) Richard Wallace / Canada
20/04/2013 03:52
Robert Haymond: The increase in Christian pop in Israel is largely immigration and largely the looney evangelical neo-zionist fringe. Who on earth would move TO and not try to escape an area under a brutal (and illegal) occupation such as the west bank or an effectivly beseiged and harrassed Gaza strip.

16 ) Reader / from Edmonton
20/04/2013 04:40
Brian, they'd think that the Israelis are about to kill us.

17 ) Reader / from Edmonton
20/04/2013 05:10
The only action the Israeli government will take will be meaningless. Their goal remains unchanged to displace the indigenous population and they are aided and abetted in this evil enterprise by the US government and their oil princes in the Middle East. Pray all you want: it is for nought.

18 ) Rami / Palestine
20/04/2013 06:47
#4 Your argument is null and void. They weren't "troops", they were settlers and the christians in that village get along very well with the neighboring muslim communities who also stood with them in protest at the outpost.

19 ) Chris Toomey / USA
20/04/2013 07:01
Please note that not one Christian was injured or killed by so-called "Israelis". Compaare that fact with Christians being wounded and killed in Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, etc. I would rather live in Israel than any Muslim countries.

20 ) lololol / RAISING A stupid flag
20/04/2013 07:22
gets more vitriolic responses here than 200 dead Arabs per day in Syria

21 ) Kate Ivy / USA
20/04/2013 08:50
Robert must live in an alternative universe! Just ask the Christians in Bethlehem how much Israel has done for Christians there. Surely Israel would stop Palestinians raising their flag over a synagogue - most likely with
tear gas and live ammunition. There will never be peace so long as Israel supports those who have no respect for Palestinian lives, religion and culture.

22 ) Ray Packham / UK
20/04/2013 09:28
Robert Haymond (Comment 4) demonstrates a naivety only too prevalent amongst Israelis. For one thing, the premises were occupied by 'settlers' (the euphemism often used for Jewish fundementalists), rather than the IOF. For another, Palestinian history shows that Christians, and their places of worship, have far more to fear from deranged Judaism than they have from Islam.

23 ) Sherri Munnerlyn / US
20/04/2013 14:27
I am simply filled with shame that my country funds this illegal settler war criminal enterprise in Occupied Palestine.

24 ) Palestinian / occupied Palestine
20/04/2013 15:10
Chris toomey #19) go say that to the mother of anton and to the mother of issa and to the mother of george and to the mothers of thousands of palestinian christians killed, injured and kicked out of their homes by the zionists. do you know how many churches israel demolished to build synagogues? do you know how many monasteries israel confiscated? it is obvious u r not a christian, otherwise u would know about israels crimes against palestinian christians. only jews have rights in zionist entity

25 ) Rahela Markovic / France
20/04/2013 17:54
I am so fed-up with the typical "brain washed by the media" attitude against Israel and for Palestinians, AND all the lies. I am not Jewish, but know enough about the war in Yugslavia. Remember how it all started : Israel was created BECAUSE Europeans and other people were massively killing Jews, wanting their extermination. Jews, that had been living for centuries in Europe, perfectly integrated and contributing in a very positive way to the development of society.

26 ) Mel / USA
20/04/2013 18:06
#4:Oh Robert!Stick yer head out of the cave,LOL!The only"Christians"landing in Ziostan Israel,are Christian-Zionist-mercenaries,who want to convert Jews B4 the'Big Kahuna'comes!Global,tolerant,rational Christians,stand with a pluralistic Holy Land&tolerance!Not Nazi-Zionism & its occupation,land theft,torture of Palestine! Wake up,Israel!Your ONLY"allies"(of convenience)left,are extremist Zionists&hegemonic Neo-Cons! Versus a whole UNGA/planet! Americans don't stand with EXTREMISTS,of any TYPE!

27 ) Rahela / Sweden
20/04/2013 18:51
People are brainwashed and do not even know why they hate Israel so much, including Christians. There Is another spirit, NOT God's spirit.

Those westerners who think they are so righteous, were also those who carried out the concentration camps to exterminate Jews, and persecute Jews throughout the history. Americans are not better with their slavery (christians). Few stood up for the truth. Few stand up today, too.
The same spirit is in them today. They would have done the same thing today.

28 ) Rahela / France/Sweden
20/04/2013 19:05
#26 : oh stick your head out of the cave yourself LOL!! America has PROVED itself to do exactly just that:stand with EXTREMISTS, around the world. It seems the whole world knows (eyewitnesses), except for Americans themselves. I love America, but am sad too see how brainwashed Americans can be by the media. Their own democratic media. Not much worse than the dictator ship of some other countries. Only the ones that really want to know the truth will know it, through a lot of effort.

29 ) Rahela / France/Sweden
20/04/2013 19:12
# 22 : this one is very funny too. How many fanatic muslims and antichristian governments are there in the world/ versus deranged judaistic jews? Are you aware of what has been happening to christian settlement in muslim countries / in Turkey / in Yugoslavia ? I guess no, BECAUSE it has not been brought into media. Do you want to be manipulated by media /...or know the truth? It's a choice.

30 ) Rahela / France/Sweden
20/04/2013 19:16
As soon as a Jew does something wrong it gets big titles, when a Palestianian does something wrong we understand him.
The same spirit was in those that persecuted Jews throughout history, or did nothing to prevent it. This whole thing is the same but expressed through a different channel.

31 ) Robert Haymond / Gush Etzion-Israel
20/04/2013 20:36
Let's just deal with facts (not a favourite occupation amongst the numerous Israeli demonizers on Maan): Christian population, Israel 34,000 in 1948; 155,000 in 2011. Christian population in all Mideast countries other than Israel, 10-12 million in 2011 representing 5% of the total population; in the early part of the 20th century, Christians represented 20% of the population. Reasons for the decline is Muslim persecution of Christians as well, of course, of Jews, Bahai and others.

32 ) Elisabeth / USA
20/04/2013 20:50
Maybe to protect it, from Muslims? Maybe to grant it money and stuff? Maybe to protect it from settler destruction? Any ideas?

33 ) Maisie / UK
20/04/2013 21:29
27,28,29,30 and the others who dare to yap about the brainwashing by the media: Israel doesn't need its own news channel when most all of the mainstream media is cheering it on.As for the western countries who were responsible for the concentration camps and persecuting jews, anti-semitism has been around for a long time but, aside from notable examples,few countries resorted to concentration camps.Israel is a fascist state aided and abetted by Zionists throughout the world-and their media.

34 ) Patricia / Poland
20/04/2013 21:43
Robert Haymond: what violent takeover of monastery by settlers have to do with "protecting" Christians? Anyhow, there is no need for any protection, Taybeh is a mostly Christian village and its inhabitants don't encounter any problems from their Muslim neighbours. The reason for declining number of Christians in West Bank is Israeli occupation- it affects Palestinians regardless if they are Muslims or Christians, many people facing daily human rights abuses and economic hardship decide to emigra

35 ) David Wavey / USA
20/04/2013 21:53
@Haymond Facts? You want facts? Fact -- you live on stolen property and survive on donations from racist Jews and stupid evangelicals elsewhere. Your country has made a mockery of International Law, from start to finish through its "exceptionalism." The hooligan settlers are a natural expression of Jewish racism (exceptinalism), and the belief of being special built into the doggerel of that ancient, regional religion. Islam has universal appeal: Judaism has no such strength or modernity

36 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
21/04/2013 00:17
Hey David Wavey - here's the facts for you: David Wavey is an occupation settler living on stolen land. David Wavey lives in a fat economy built on the backs of millons of slaves, brought in while David Wavey's great-grandparents were committing genocide against native Americans. David Wavey's America was one of the most racist states during its first 200 years: slavery, genocide, denial of the vote to natives and blacks. David Wavey, aren't you the true international criminal?

37 ) Rafael / Brazil
21/04/2013 00:59
Haymond, the only reason Israel's Christian population has increased is because of Russian immigration. Apparently Russian Christians have been getting into the country disguised as Soviet Jews. Still, Israel has proportionally fewer Christians than do Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt and, ofc, Lebanon. Palestine's Christian popultion has ceased contracting since the Intifada's end, and surveys point out that the Christians who left in the meantime blame Israel, not their Muslim brethren.

38 ) Mel / USA
21/04/2013 02:03
#28:Rahela?France/Sweden:"own democratic media"?Mon Dieu!U really think we've a"democratic"media left,lol? Ney Takk! It's a corporate hasbara machine of 5 mega-congloms only(funded by WEPS,Oil,Big-Pharma,Movie Co's)saturating USA with crap,coz the majority US citizens don't know ANY better!A Disney"democracy",hides the reality of a wealthy,militarist,Oligarchy(post WW2)which is methodically usurping our beloved USA&true democracy!Why do U think D.C."bonds"so well with helva Israel?

39 ) Colin Wright / USA
21/04/2013 09:04
To Brian Cohen #2 'The vast majority of us think these guys are hooligans. If Islamic whackos took over a synagogue and raised a Palestinian flag, what would the vast majority of Palestinians think?' They would think the iron fist of the Jewish state was about to descend in righteous fury -- and they'd be right. You, on the other hand, can rest assured nothing of any consequence will happen to your co-religionists.

40 ) Colin Wright / USA
21/04/2013 09:07
To Robert Haymond #4: 'Let's just deal with facts (not a favourite occupation amongst the numerous Israeli demonizers on Maan): Christian population...' I went thorugh all this with you before, Robbie. I pulled statistics from my altases and everything. Remember? Then, you were wrong. Now, since you know otherwise, you are lying.

41 ) Colin Wright / USA
21/04/2013 09:13
To Rahela #29: 'How many fanatic muslims and antichristian governments are there in the world/ versus deranged judaistic jews?' Then again, how much money does each fanatic muslim receive from the US? The crimes some unknown teenager may commit are not my responsibility; those my son commits are -- and if Israel is not exactly my country's son, we certainly helped spawn it and are the party primarily responsible for its continued existence.

42 ) Colin Wright / USA
21/04/2013 09:17
I love it. Jews seize a Christian church -- and somehow this is supposed to reflect badly on Muslims. Leave it to a Zionist to come up with that one...

43 ) Colin Wright / USA
21/04/2013 09:20
To Ajibola #3 'Settlers are the main and obvious world terrorist.' Settlers are only doing now what Israel as a whole did then. Your condemnation is too narrow. Nothing has changed: it's only that as the bleak farce continues, it grows more grotesque.

44 ) MT / ..
21/04/2013 20:36
@37.. Palestinian poplaution nearly 12million.25% are Christian.how many in occupied palestine.?

45 ) Madeleine / Palestine
21/04/2013 21:13
Settlers are the worst people on Earth. They are greedy people and ready to steal anything, from land, trees, churches, mosks. They never respect others and even religeous and holy places. The problem is they are supported by the police and army. Imagine the olive tree is a very precious and holy tree in the Old and New Testament and they still destroy hundreds of olive trees almost daily for the Palestinian villagers. What do we expect from them? Only inhuman attitude.....

46 ) Maureen / Australia
21/04/2013 22:25
. Rahela. So you know how the war started in Yugoslavia? You must also know of the support Israel gave to the Serbs. Now learn of the Bolshevik Revolution, Ukranian Christian Holocaust, Judaic Communism, Israel, Rothschilds and the Freemasons/Illuminati!

47 ) Jordanian Christian / Jordan
22/04/2013 01:17
#31 Robert this is the worst lie I have ever heard. Christians aren't being persecuted I am a Christian from Jordan originally Palestinian. Almost all my friends are Muslims, there's absolutely no persecution over here, we are like brothers. Don't you dare attempt to ruin that with your disgusting lies. There are Christian ministers in the government, in the senate and so much more. We absolutely don't face persecution in Arab Muslim countries! And I'm furious that you try to imply such things

48 ) gabi / australia
22/04/2013 03:32
And while you are at it Rahela, have a look at the efforts made for collaboration with the Nazis by Zionists early in the war when it looked like Germany would win. They offered to get European Jewry to side with Germany on the promise that Germany would give them Palestine. The Germans knocked them back. After the war ended, the Jews then went to war with the British in Palestine. Israel was created out of terrorism - Stern/Haganah/Irgun/Palmach. Read about it and get off the high moral ground

49 ) ian / australia
22/04/2013 15:30
#2 "The vast majority of us think these guys are hooligans. If Islamic whackos took over a synagogue and raised a Palestinian flag, what would the vast majority of Palestinians think?" Interesting hypothetical Brian. What would Palestinians think? Well, they'd be booking the hall for the funeral because that kind of affront to Zion would call for blood sacrifice. (It would also be an international incident.) But assuming there are no synagogues in Gaza, and that a synagogue sit-in in ISRAEL is

50 ) ian / australia
22/04/2013 15:31
(contd.) hard to imagine, the hypothetical take-over would be in the West Bank. But it's not something West Bank Palestinians would do. They don't WANT to occupy synagogues or raise flags or express thuggish dominion over others. (I doubt they'd want to set foot in one symbolising as they do decidedly odious values.) That's hooligan settler psychology. Sadists and bullies terrorising the vulnerable in gaudy displays of power and impunity. Palestinians are indifferent to synagogues.

51 ) ian / australia
22/04/2013 15:32
(contd.) They just want them gone, with the crazy settlers, from their land and their lives.

52 ) to Robert Haymond / XX
22/04/2013 18:17
pls don't lie...first you should put not'48 but '49 AFTER the expultion of Pals,also you should write the fact that jews out of fear of condamnation ordered SOME to return,especially to Nazareth, but only christians-so PR issue. Also why u didn't write that the no. increased due to the "natural growth"of Pals?-that is why jews got rid of Pals from isr in the first place,since the popul.was almost 50/50.Why didn't you write about Jerusalems christians that massively fled after the 1967?few r left

53 ) to Robert Haymond / XX
22/04/2013 18:31
also look what the major of Nazareth is doing for years now!why u don't mention that?another "exodus" of 400,000 into Diaspora in 1967 (40% of pop.)from that 50.000 were Christians. In Jerusalem 50 percent of the Pal.Christians were forced to leave homes inWest Jerusalem after'48 war. At the end of the war 34% of the land seized byIsr belongs to Christians!from 1975-1995, Christians in the area occupied by Isr went from 116,000-191,000 in 20years.In demographical terms this is very little!

54 ) to Robert Haymond / XX
22/04/2013 18:42
oh and why did u lied about '48? At the time of the creation of the state of Isr in 1948, the number was about 350,000 NOT 34.000!By brit.census in Jerusalem in1910 there were 12900 Christ.in 2006 by isr.census 10000!Foreign:4700.Read:Sabeel conference in 2006where all Christ. Palestinian voices were heard including their Heads of Churches-the presentation of a survey-shows that due to political and economic instability, many Pal.Christ.have been emigrating.~87% said economic factors-occupation

55 ) to Robert Haymond / XX
22/04/2013 18:54
there are lots of reports about diminishing no.of Pal.Christ. in jerus.read:Jerus.Inter-Church Centre report-may '09. Pal.Christ.made up approximately 15-20%of the pop.within historic Pal.before'48. In'07, they are1.5%.Survey by the Pal.Centre for research and Cultural Dialogue-'78%of Christ. in in Bethlehem say the emigration is because of Isr.blockade.90% Bethlehemite Christ.had Muslims friends and vice-versa. 9/10 Bethlehemites said Isr.wall surrounding city is for the confiscation of Pal.lan

56 ) Maureen / Australia
22/04/2013 22:23
Aw c'mon Robert Haymond, why don't you write about the anti Christian/anti Jesus tripe that is written in the Talmud?

57 ) Christians were 18% of Israel / Australia
23/04/2013 11:44
When the British invaded Palestine in 1917 (with the help of the Aussies and Kiwis), the Christian Palestinians comprised around 18% of the population, with Muslims around 75%. The invasion, to faciliate the creation of the racist apartheid state, has seen the Christian population scattered to the four corners. But racism always loses in the end. Democracy will win, we just need another 100 years.

58 ) Mark / USA
24/04/2013 14:44
#36 All that said and yet you have no problem accepting cash, weapons, trade agreements, etc... from the Americans. You also kissed the ground Bush and later Obama walked on during their visits to your "country" and swooned over them like an awkward schoolgirl who just caught sight of her biggest crush. Seems to me you're quite hypocritical in your statement. Relieve yourself of the moral dilemma and give back everything you've taken from the United States. It'll help you sleep better at night.

59 ) Greg / USA
15/11/2013 21:33
In response to Robert from Yehuda, Israel: "Israel is the only country in the Mideast where the Christian population has increased (significantly). In all other countries and areas, i.e., Westbank and Gaza, the Christian population has decreased drastically." You are not serious, right? Christians left these areas when their land was expropriated.

60 ) Greg / USA
15/11/2013 21:37
Further, the Israeli government has had no qualms about cleansing the areas under their control of non-Jews. Look at Yuval Ne'eman's declaration on the founding of Nazareth Illit, for example: he stated that the town "would safeguard the Jewish character of Galilee as a whole" and "demonstrate state sovereignty to the Arab population more than any other settlement operation" (G. Forman: Military Rule, Political Manipulation, and Jewish Settlement: Israeli Mechanisms for Controlling Nazareth)
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