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Much tension has also arisen in the last few years over who visits what, and when, and to whom it all belongs. Seemingly a microcosm for all issues Jerusalem…. Mount Zion credit: Uri Aloni. We remember that when we began to speak with our neighbors, we were shocked by the level of hostility among the organizations and people on this site. We once said that creating peace on Mount Zion might be equivalent to achieving world peace.

These tensions were brought to the fore in , surrounding the visit of the newly-appointed Pope Francis to the Room of the Last Supper. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

ISBN 10: 1845113535

To ask other readers questions about Islamic Jerusalem and its Christians , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Islamic Jerusalem and its Christians. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Jul 31, Beric Croome rated it really liked it. Well researched and presenting an example of how different faiths can peacefully co-exist although I do question the statements that Jerusalem should be under Islamic rule.

Bryan Adam rated it it was amazing Oct 02, Rachid Eznaden rated it it was amazing Mar 10, December Young rated it it was amazing Sep 24, Muhammad A marked it as to-read Jun 04, David added it May 14, Mohammad Danish marked it as to-read Dec 13, Ibtissam marked it as to-read Mar 12, Franziska Koeppen marked it as to-read Jan 04, On April 2, , as Israel implemented its Defensive Shield operation to combat the Palestinian terrorist infrastructure, in Bethlehem "a number of terrorists took over St. Mary's Church grounds and The terrorists used the Church as a firing position, from which they shot at IDF soldiers in the area.

The soldiers did not return fire toward the church when fired upon [emphasis added]. An IDF force, under the command of the Bethlehem area regional commander, entered the Church grounds today without battle, in coordination with its leaders, and evacuated the priest and nuns. That same day, "More than Palestinian gunmen As the New York Times put it, "Palestinian gunmen have frequently used the area around the church as a refuge, with the expectation that Israel would try to avoid fighting near the shrine " [emphasis added].

And in fact this was the case. The commander of the Israeli forces in the area asserted that the IDF would not break into the church itself and would not harm this site holy to Christianity.

Azerbaijan. Land of religious tolerance

Israel also deployed more mature and more reserved reserve-duty soldiers in this sensitive situation that militarily called for more agile, standing-army soldiers. On the other hand, the Palestinians did not treat it the same way. Not only did they take their weapons with them into the Church of the Nativity and fire, on occasion, from the church, but also reportedly booby-trapped the entrance to the church.

On April 7, "one of the few priests evacuated from the church told Israeli television yesterday that gunmen had shot their way in, and that the priests, monks and nuns were essentially hostages The priest declined to call the clergy 'hostages,' but repeatedly said in fluent English: 'We have absolutely no choice. They have guns, we do not. Christians clearly saw the takeover as a violation of the sanctity of the church.

In an interview with CWNews, Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, the Vatican's Undersecretary of State and the top foreign-policy official, asserted that "The Palestinians have entered into bilateral agreements [with the Holy See] in which they undertake to maintain and respect the status quo regarding the Christian holy places and the rights of Christian communities. To explain the gravity of the current situation, let me begin with the fact that the occupation of the holy places by armed men is a violation of a long tradition of law that dates back to the Ottoman era.

Never before have they been occupied - for such a lengthy time - by armed men.


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Three Armenian monks, who had been held hostage by the Palestinian gunmen inside Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, managed to flee the church area via a side gate yesterday morning. They immediately thanked the soldiers for rescuing them. They told army officers the gunmen had stolen gold and other property, including crucifixes and prayer books, and had caused damage One of the monks, Narkiss Korasian, later told reporters: "They stole everything, they opened the doors one by one and stole everything They stole our prayer books and four crosses Thank you for your help, we will never forget it.

When the siege finally ended, the PA soldiers left the church in terrible condition:. The Palestinian gunmen holed up in the Church of the Nativity seized church stockpiles of food and "ate like greedy monsters" until the food ran out, while more than civilians went hungry. They also guzzled beer, wine, and Johnnie Walker scotch that they found in priests' quarters, undeterred by the Islamic ban on drinking alcohol. The indulgence lasted for about two weeks into the day siege, when the food and drink ran out, according to an account by four Greek Orthodox priests who were trapped inside for the entire ordeal The Orthodox priests and a number of civilians have said the gunmen created a regime of fear.

Even in the Roman Catholic areas of the complex there was evidence of disregard for religious norms.

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Catholic priests said that some Bibles were torn up for toilet paper, and many valuable sacramental objects were removed. Nicholas Marquez from Mexico. A problem that arose during the siege again shows Christian fear of Muslim domination. Two Palestinian gunmen in the church were killed, and the PA wanted to bury them in the basilica. It could lead to a situation like that in Nazareth," he said.

Despite having no legal standing in Jerusalem, PA officialdom has acted similarly there.

Book Review: ‘Islamic Jerusalem and its Christians: A History of Tolerance and Tensions’

Walid M. There are scholars who say that it might be in Jericho or somewhere else 4 kilometers outside of Jerusalem. Are you suggesting that Jesus went to Jericho rather than Jerusalem? Jerusalem is [an] Islamic [city] trouble Christians. According to a May 11, , report in Ha'aretz, "A Waqf internal report, written two weeks ago by the Waqf's Jerusalem engineer, 'Isam 'Awad, confirms many of the Christians' claims in the conflict that has emerged adjacent to the Holy Sepulcher Church regarding construction in the Church.

The Church's claim [is] that the Waqf has harmed the historical and architectural substance of the Holy Sepulcher, as a result of a construction addition to the courtyard of the 'Hanaqa,' which leans on the wall of the Holy Sepulcher and even darkens it by its height.

Azerbaijan. Land of religious tolerance

The same Ha'aretz story reported that "The Jerusalem district archeologist in the Antiquities Authority, John Zeligman, wrote to the Waqf director, 'Adnan Husayni, pointing out to the Waqf the damage to a site that is declared to be an antiquity and threatens to go to law if work is not halted immediately. The PA-appointed Waqf is also working feverishly to convert the Temple Mount, a site holy to Christians and Jews, into a mosque and erase any traces of the Temple. In June , Ha'aretz reported that "the Islamic Movement in Israel has a master plan to build a fourth mosque on the eastern side of the Temple Mount" and that, in fact, according to a head of the movement, "the entire area of the Temple Mount is an inseparable and integral part of the Al Aqsa Mosque.

The Wakf made a mockery of the laws of the State of Israel. Wakf officials [had] requested and received a permit to open an emergency exit in the new mosque in Solomon's Stables. To do so, it dug a huge hole 60 meters long and 25 meters wide in the earth of the Temple Mount Some of it was scattered at dumpsites.

Jerusalem: History of Islam, Christians and Jews and why it's the most controversial?

Some was dumped in the Kidron River. Antiquities dating back to [the first and second Temple eras] were tossed on garbage heaps. Israel Antiquities Authority Director-General Shuka Dorfman affirms "categorically" and "in an unequivocal manner, that there is archeological damage being done [by the Waqf] to antiquities on the Temple Mount. More recently, since the start of the Palestinian violence, the Waqf has precluded Christians from visiting the Temple Mount, despite the fact that no security considerations whatsoever are involved.

Historically, not only has Bethlehem been a Christian city governed primarily by Christians, but, with its sister towns of Beit Jala and Beit Sahur, it has been the largest enclave of Christians in the West Bank.

Islamic Jerusalem and Its Christians: A History of Tolerance and Tensions

Since assuming control in , however, the PA has been Islamizing Bethlehem. The city's municipal boundaries were changed to incorporate 30, Muslims from three neighboring refugee camps, severely tipping the demography. The city also added a few thousand Bedouins of the Ta'amra tribe, located east of Bethlehem, and encouraged Muslim immigration from Hebron to Bethlehem. The net result is that the area's 23, Christians were reduced from a 60 percent majority in to a minority by He fired the existing Bethlehem city council that had nine Christians and two Muslims, replacing it with a council.

While the mayor is a Christian, the top bureaucratic, security, and political echelons, and the lower levels as well, have been drained of Christians. Christians fear that these new regulations will open the way to the nomination of Muslim mayors to the traditional Christian towns. While six out of the eighty-eight seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council have been reserved for Christians, 54 representing more than double their proportion in Palestinian society, the Council is a fairly powerless entity.

Similarly, no Christian holds a position of power in the Palestinian government. Harassment of Palestinian Christians by Palestinian Muslims. Palestinian Christians are perceived by many Muslims - as were Lebanon's Christians - as a potential fifth column for Israel. In fact, at the start of the recent violence in , Muslim Palestinians attacked Christians in Gaza, as confirmed by Fr.

Raed Abusahlia, chancellor of the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem.


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Anti-Christian graffiti is not uncommon in Bethlehem and neighboring Beit Sahur, proclaiming: "First the Saturday people the Jews , then the Sunday people the Christians. Accused of wearing "permissive" Western clothing, Bethlehem Christian women have been intimidated. Finally, rape and abduction of Christian women is also reported to have occurred frequently especially in Beit Sahur , as was the case in Lebanon. Christian cemeteries have been defaced, monasteries have had their telephone lines cut, and there have been break-ins at convents.

In July , the Wall Street Journal reported that Palestinian Muslims would not sell land to Christians and that Christian facilities and clubs had been attacked by Muslim extremists.