Below, we publish the translation of the letter (the copy is attached at the bottom) sent to the Minister of Education (with a copy to the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and other persons in charge), following the incident at the school and convent of the Franciscan Sisters, at Nazareth, which was gunned on Thursday 16 March around 18.30 by unknown people, asking that the event be fully investigated, to ensure that this event does not repeat itself.
This letter expresses the position of the entire Assembly of the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land.
“To Yoav Kish, Minister of Education
Subject: a shooting in the school of the Franciscan nuns – Nazareth
On Thursday 16/3/2023 at around 18:30, shots were fired at a school and a convent of Franciscan nuns in Nazareth, while the nuns were in the convent church during their prayer. This is a very dangerous precedent, since this is the first time such an incident has occurred against a Church school in Israel. We take this incident very seriously, because Christian monasteries and schools have always been outside the cycle of violence that occurs in Arab society. Miraculously no one was injured and a major disaster was averted.
Therefore, I appeal to Your Honor, in collaboration with the Minister of National Security, to carry out a thorough and expeditious investigation to find those responsible, so that such a case does not happen again in any school in Israel, and especially in schools of the church.
Bishop Rafic Nahara
Latin patriarchal vicar in Israel
The Latin Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa – head of the Assembly of Catholic Bishops in the Holy Land
Archbishop Adolfo Tito Iliana – Vatican Ambassador to Israel
The Council of Catholic Bishops in Israel
Mr. Eli Cohen – Minister of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Michael Malchiali -Minister of interior ad Interim
Mr. Ali Salam – Mayor of Nazareth
Mr. Assaf Tselal – Director General of the Ministry of Education
Father Abdelmasih Fahim – Director General of Church Schools
Mr. Cesar Margia – Senior Director of Christian Denominations at the Ministry of the Interior
Sister Telesphora Pavlou – The Sister in charge of the Order of Franciscan Sisters in Israel
Deacon Jarys Mansor – National Supervisor of Church Schools in Israel”