Jerusalem, Israel (Friday, 06-20-2015, Gaudium Press) Parts of the Church of the Multiplication in Tabgha on the shores of the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel have been torched, Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said on Thursday.
|A nun surveys heavy damage at the Church of the Multiplication
after a fire broke out in the middle
“Police investigating overnight fire at Church of the Multiplication (Tabgha), Sea of Galilee,” Rosenfeld confirmed on Twitter.
Anti-Christian graffiti was found on one of the Church’s facades, raising suspicions of arson. The holy temple on the Sea of Galilee marks the spot where Jesus Christ multiplied five loaves and two fish into enough to feed the crowd accompanying him.
A Christian cemetery located in Kufr Birim village, also in northern Israel, was also attacked recently, leaving several gravestones destroyed in the seventh incident of this kind since 2006, Wadie Abu Nassar, the then spokesman of the Catholic Church, recalled.
Attacks against Christian places of worship in Israel and Palestine are thought to be acts of radical Jewish groups.
Israeli police arrested 16 minors associated with the arson of the Church of the Multiplication in Tabgha on the Sea of Galilee, the spot believed to be where Jesus Christ multiplied five loaves and two fish into enough to feed the crowd accompanying him.
Sixteen minors were arrested and taken in for questioning, according to a statement released by Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.
The youths, according to Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot, were known by the police on account of their prior criminal activities.
Late Wednesday night, a fire broke out, torching parts of the church, while anti-Christian graffiti was found on one of the Church’s facades, raising suspicions of arson.
A Catholic Church spokesman in Jerusalem, Wadie Abu Nassar, went to the site to observe the vandalism, a type of crime that that has increased against Christian places of worship in Israel and Palestine in recent years, and thought to be the work of radical Jewish groups.
“We are grateful for the efforts of the Israeli authorities, but we hope there would be consequences. A detention is not enough. It’s good that there is an arrest, but would be a punishment? We will follow the case closely because we believe that the time has come that the State of Israel treats these issues seriously,” Abu Nassar told Efe.