Father Atallah Hanna, Archbishop of the Palestinian Orthodox Church in Occupied Jerusalem, was exposed last Tuesday evening to a spitting and verbal attack by Jewish students in the Old City of Occupied Jerusalem. A statement has been released on his official Facebook page deploring the assault and settlers’ ongoing offensive and aggressive practices against the Christian clergy in Jerusalem.
Father Hanna was assaulted after he left the Church of the Flagellation in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City on his way to the Patriarchate, according to the statement. He was spit on and verbally attacked by male and female students of a Jewish religious school in the Old City.
“They were more than 20 people, and they started spitting first and then cursing. They shouted vulgar remarks at the Reverend Archbishop and insulted the Holy Cross and the Christian faith,” the statement said.
“Some Palestinian young men in the area provided protection for the Archbishop and prevented the fanatics from physically assaulting him,” the statement added.
For his part, Father Hanna on Wednesday denounced what had happened with him in the Old City, stressing that “no power in the world can uproot the Palestinians from their holy land.”
“Such blind extremism and hatred will only increase our ties with our holy city, which is our spiritual and national capital and an incubator for our most important holy sites,” he said.