Israeli police on Tuesday evening, severely beaten Samer Andrea Karkar, a Palestinian Christian living in the Old City on the Latin Patriarchate street where he owns an Italian Restaurant and supermarket, the same street, which will host His Holiness on his visit to the Patriarchate in occupied Jerusalem.
Prior to the expected visit the Israeli police prevented residents from entering the street due to repairs and maintenance. When Samer tried to persuade the Israeli force to allow his sister and her children to enter to pass through to their home in the same street since the children were asleep, the soldiers ordered him to leave and one policeman told him that he did not want to see him in any street, and then beaten him severely and threw him on the ground where other soldiers took their part too and then they took him to the police station despite the fact that his store was still open and un-manned.
The lawyer Assad Mazzawi who witnessed the incident, immediately went to the police headquarters, but was not allowed in. After the investigation Samer was released and he went to Hadassah Hospital for the necessary medical check up.
Jerusalem Christians question the feasibility of the Pope’s visit, who is the highest religious authority among the Christian world. At the most difficult times in which Christians lives are subject to religious persecution and the daily chapter of racist policies from the authorities of the occupation which is targeting their residency in the city and was also experienced lately during Saturday Holy Fire celebrations where they were prevented from exercising their religious rights in the most sacred days, and subjected to beatings and ill-treatment.
The residents showed deep dissatisfaction of the attitudes of their religious leaders who are being idle towards attacks against Christians, which is resulting in keeping a very small Christian community of several thousand in the city due to emigration.
It should be noted that the Israeli police informed local residents and shopkeepers
that these areas within the city will be closed to residents and visitors and all the shops
to close their doors during the visit for reasons of “security” and for the residents to remain in their homes.