Resistance groups slam Israeli assaults on Palestinian Christian worshippers

The Gaza-based Hamas and Islamic Jihad resistance movements have roundly denounced the Israeli regime over restrictive measures against Christian worshippers and assaults on them as they thronged the Old City of al-Quds and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to celebrate the ceremony of the Holy Fire.

Mohammad Hamadeh, Hamas spokesman in al-Quds, said in a statement that the vicious assaults on Palestinian Christians “display the wicked nature of the occupying Israeli regime, its abhorrent racism as well as its arrogance towards anyone who is not Jewish. It also repudiates its claims of respect for religion and the right to freedom of thought and belief.”

He stressed that Palestinians will keep on their presence on their lands and will stand up against the Tel Aviv regime’s unjust practices, which are in flagrant violation of all humanitarian principles and international resolutions.

The Hamas spokesman called on the international community to abandon double standards when dealing with Israel, and instead pressure the regime to cease its heinous crimes.

Islamic Jihad’s Spokesman in the West Bank Tariq Ezzeddine denounced the attacks on Palestinian Christian worshippers in al-Quds, saying such actions constitute desecration of both Islamic and Christian sanctities, are in violation of the rights of people during religious rituals, and are part of the continued harassment and racism against Palestinian Christians.

“The barbaric crime of the Zionist regime and vile assaults against the Christians, who wanted to reach the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in al-Quds to celebrate the ceremony of the Holy Fire, is strongly condemned.”

Ezzeddine added, “This aggression is in line with the constant crimes of the occupying [Israeli] regime against our nation.”

The Islamic Jihad spokesman called on all walks of the Palestinian society to confront such aggression, and demanded cessation of repressive measures against the al-Quds citizens who are holding religious ceremonies. Ezzeddin also urged the international community and freedom-loving people around the world to fulfill their responsibilities and stop these recurrent acts of aggression.

Earlier on Saturday, metal barricades sealed off alleys leading to the Christian Quarter of al-Quds. Over 2,000 Israeli police officers were deployed to the area.

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