Arson Attack Against Greek Orthodox Seminary in Jerusalem


2Fire department investigators believe the blaze at the Greek Orthodox Seminary near the Jaffa Gate to Jerusalem’s Old City on Thursday, 7 Adar was most likely started intentionally. Graffiti was spray painted on the premises signaling a so-called price tag attack, with fire investigators reporting a restroom and shower room were damaged by the blaze.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat upon hearing of the attack stated, “There is no room for such deplorable activity in Jerusalem, we must eradicate this behavior and bring those responsible to justice.”

The Mayor spoke with the Jerusalem Chief of Police and asked him to speed up the investigation. “We must quickly restore the peace and coexistence in Jerusalem,” Barkat said.

President Reuven Rivlin spoke with Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem, and expressed his sadness and shock at the arson and graffiti attack on a building within the Greek Orthodox compound on Mount Zion.

The President said, “It is inconceivable that an act like this could happen in a house of prayer, this is a heinous crime, there must be an investigation and those responsible must be brought to justice. Such criminals not only threaten to set fire to places of worship holy to all of us, but ignite the regional powder keg upon which we all sit.”

The President added, “The protection and conservation of the holy sites, both those holy for us and those holy for others, is our obligation as a state and as a society, and we cannot allow such attacks to sabotage the common fabric of our lives here. We all have a responsibility to put an end to these terrible acts.”

The Patriarch thanked the President for his words, and expressed great appreciation for his concern. He said, “Our mission is to act to bring an end to such acts, in all areas of the Land of Israel.”

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem / Photos: Fire Spokesman)