On Saturday, February 3rd, a Christian priest and head of Dormition Abbey, Father Nikodemus Schnabel, was spit on by Israeli settlers while wearing clerical garb and a cross pendant by Zion Gate (or Bab al-Nabi Daoud) in the Old City of Jerusalem. Video of the assault was shared from a contact on the ground across several platforms and can be viewed here. CMEP strongly condemns these acts of violence against Christians occurring in the Holy Land.
In a November statement, CMEP raised urgent concerns “regarding the sustainability of the Christian community in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza in light of Israel’s ongoing military and settler violence.” This is another instance of Christian clergy being attacked by settlers in broad daylight in the last 12 months (see Gethsemane attack). The two young male assailants shown in the video were arrested on Saturday night and released on house arrest. The Palestinian Authority issued a statement on the assault, and Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs, Israel Katz, stated on X: “Again an ugly incident of spitting at Christian clerics in Jerusalem. I strongly condemn the ugly acts towards members of other religions.” However, rhetoric is not enough, and action must be taken to ensure this violence does not continue to take place in Jerusalem, the city of peace, where all clerics, religious leaders, and traditions should be protected.
Videos of the incident are included below. Warning: Strong Language.