Incidents of "spitting" on Christians raise controversy in Israel Minister of Police: It is not a criminal case

Incidents of "spitting" on Christians raise controversy in Israel Minister of Police: It is not a criminal case

Israeli police arrested five Jewish extremists on suspicion of involvement in recent incidents of spitting on Christian worshipers in the Old City of occupied Jerusalem.

On Wednesday, Israeli police arrested five Jewish extremists on suspicion of involvement in recent incidents of spitting on Christian worshipers in the Old City of occupied Jerusalem.

Doron Turgeman, the Israeli police inspector in the Jerusalem area, said in a statement: “We will not tolerate displays of hatred towards any person, whether Jew, Muslim or Christian.”

He added: "Unfortunately, we are witnessing the continuation of this phenomenon, displaying hatred towards Christians in the Old City of Jerusalem, mainly through spitting on the ground when passing in front of extremists (Jews)."

“Those who do this have a serious problem, first and foremost, with their education, their view of the world, and their respect for others,” Turgeman continued.

Israeli police said they intend to charge the suspects with assault.

'It is not a criminal case'

On the other hand, National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir said, in an interview with Israeli Army Radio: “I still believe that spitting on Christians is not a criminal issue. I think we should address the phenomenon through guidance and education. Not everything justifies arrest.”

The minister responsible for the police added: “It deserves every condemnation, and it should stop. I asked Rabbi Dov Lior, and he said that the behavior is immoral and wrong. We are against that, but let us stop defaming Israel. We are all brothers and sons of the same people.”

Before entering politics, Ben Gvir justified spitting towards Christians as an “ancient Jewish custom.”

A minor and four adults were detained, and the arrests came following an incident that occurred during Sukkot celebrations on Tuesday, in addition to another incident on Wednesday.

Rabbi Nathan Rothman, brother of Israeli MP Simcha Rothman from the Religious Zionist Party headed by Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, on Tuesday led a group of minors on the pilgrimage route in Jerusalem, where one of them spat on a Christian tourist and was immediately arrested, according to Israel's Channel 12.

Two other suspects were arrested on charges of spitting on a Christian kiosk owner in the Old City of Jerusalem on Wednesday, and the others in an incident that became widely publicized on Tuesday, as they were seen and photographed spitting on Christian worshipers in new incidents during the Haredi procession through the Old City.

In a video clip published by the correspondent of the Israeli newspaper “Haaretz” on the Internet, a group of Christians are shown leaving a church carrying a wooden cross and walking next to a group of religious Jews who walked in the other direction. Then a number of Jews spat on the ground in the direction of the Christians as they passed. .

Some of the people in the video appeared to be Haredi minors, who spat on Christians after seeing an adult man doing so.

These arrests come amid a rise in incidents targeting Christian priests and pilgrims in the city by religious Jews.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote in a tweet that “Israel is fully committed to protecting the sacred right to worship and pilgrimage to the holy places of all religions.” “I strongly condemn any attempt to intimidate worshipers, and I am committed to taking immediate and decisive action against it.”

He added, “Insulting behavior toward worshipers is a sacrilege and is simply unacceptable.” Any form of hostility towards individuals participating in prayer will not be tolerated.”

However, an Israeli Army Radio report on Wednesday stated that the belief that Jews are forced to spit on Christians is widespread in the Old City, especially among young Jews who have publicly expressed their support for the behavior.

Hebrew media indicated that in the past, it was difficult to convict those who spit, because the act did not meet the criteria for violence in assault charges.

60 killed in an attack on regime forces in central Syria and Turkish strikes on the northeast of the country

Damascus : More than sixty people were killed, Thursday, in a drone attack targeting the Military College in Homs, central Syria, during an officers’ graduation ceremony, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

This came as strikes were carried out against Kurdish-controlled areas in northeastern Syria, killing at least nine people, according to Kurdish forces.

The attack on the military college in Homs, which the Syrian regime accused “terrorist organizations” of being behind, led to “more than 60 deaths,” according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The majority of those killed were officers, but at least nine civilians, family members of the soldiers who attended the ceremony, were also killed, according to the Syrian Observatory.

Likewise, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is based in the United Kingdom and has a wide network of sources in Syria, reported that there were “dozens of wounded.”

The Syrian regime army said in a statement: “This afternoon, armed terrorist organizations supported by well-known international parties targeted the graduation ceremony of military college officer students in Homs with marches carrying explosive ammunition, immediately after the end of the ceremony, which resulted in a number of martyrs, both civilians and military personnel, and the deaths of dozens.” “The wounded.”

He added, “The General Command of the Army and Armed Forces considers this cowardly terrorist act an unprecedented criminal act, and affirms that it will respond with full force and decisiveness to these terrorist organizations wherever they are found.”

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. Jihadist groups that control part of Syrian territory sometimes use armed drones.

After fierce fighting in May 2017, regime forces regained full control over the city of Homs after it had been an opposition stronghold since 2011.

Since 2011, Syria has witnessed a bloody conflict that has killed more than half a million people, caused massive destruction to infrastructure and led to the displacement of millions inside and outside the country.


The Kurds have established an autonomous administration in the northeast of the country, which is regularly targeted by the Turkish army.

Turkey carried out a series of drone strikes on Thursday against military targets and infrastructure in Kurdish-controlled areas of Syria, killing at least nine people, in response to an attack in Ankara.

According to a statement by the Kurdish forces, “six members of the security forces were killed in a raid on Amuda,” and two “civilians” riding motorcycles were killed in another raid.

The spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces, Farhad Shami, reported that six workers were killed in the block factory (manufacturing building stones) in Amuda, but it later became clear that these six were members of the security forces who were killed in the Amuda raid.

Shami reported that another person was killed in a block factory in Al-Hasakah.

On Sunday, two policemen were injured in an attack in Ankara claimed by the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which has been waging an armed rebellion against the Turkish authorities since 1984.

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan confirmed that the perpetrators of the attack that targeted the Interior Ministry headquarters in Ankara on Sunday were trained in Syria, pledging to respond. Ankara classifies the Kurdish People's Protection Units as a "terrorist" organization and considers it an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party.

Al-Shami added, “Additional strikes targeted an oil site in the (border) town of Al-Qahtaniyah and a car repair center south of Kobani. They also targeted a motorcycle east of Kobani.”

He continued, "There has been a clear escalation in the bombing of the marches since the start of the Turkish threats."

After the strikes, columns of smoke were seen above the Qahtaniya oil site near the border with Turkey. Firefighters headed to the main power station in the city of Qamishli in Hasakah Governorate.

Between 2016 and 2019, Turkey carried out three major operations in northern Syria against Kurdish factions.

The United States, Russia, and Turkey deploy forces in various regions in Syria.

With the support of Moscow and Tehran, the Syrian regime regained most of the territory it lost at the beginning of the war that broke out in 2011 due to the suppression of pro-democracy demonstrations.

America shot down a Turkish drone 

At the same time, two American officials told Reuters that an American F-16 fighter jet shot down a Turkish drone that was operating near American forces in Syria.

The two officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added that the United States made several calls to Turkish officials to warn them that they were operating near American ground forces.

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