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Churches in West Bank Vandalized

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20 May 2019 (All day)
Churches in West Bank Vandalized
Leaders of Palestinian Christian communities in the West Bank are calling on the Palestinian Authority to investigate vandalism attacks on churches near Ramallah and Bethlehem. The Church of God in the village of Aboud, west of Ramallah, was burglarized and damaged last Friday while the Saint Charbel Monastery in Bethlehem was also vandalized on the same day. “We feel we’re being deliberately targeted because we’re Christians,” a Christian woman from Aboud told The Jerusalem Post. “When you see two attacks on a church and monastery in one week, this makes you wonder whether there’s some kind of a scheme against Christians.”

“We pray in solidarity with this church and for the repentance of the aggressors,” the Holy Land Church organization said in its statement. “We also call on the responsible authorities to lay their hands on the perpetrators and bring them to justice as soon as possible.”

The Holy Land Council of Bishops also issued a statement condemning the attacks and what it characterized as the “robbery” of the Saint Charbel Monastery, which is located in downtown Bethlehem and is affiliated with the Lebanese Maronite Order.

Eurovision Contest Ends on High Note for Israel
The Eurovision song contest wrapped up in Tel Aviv on Saturday evening in Tel Aviv, with Holland’s Duncan Laurence taking the top prize while hometown hero Kobi Marimi finishing 23rd. The evening produced some controversy as pop superstar Madonna’s act included two backup dancers with Israeli and Palestinian flags on the back of their costumes while Icelandic band Hatari displayed pro-Palestinian banners during the live broadcast, an act which the European Broadcasters Union said they might be punished for since the Eurovision contest is explicitly non-political. The displays were also rejected by BDS groups, who characterized them as a “fig leaf” which didn’t balance out the fact that the artists had performed in Israel.

Here is the video of Kobi Marimi's Eurovision Finals Performance



Netanyahu Laments Difficulty in Forming Coalition
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during Sunday morning’s cabinet meeting that the leaders of potential partners for his coalition government are making unrealistic demands which make it difficult to sign agreements with them. “I hope that we will find a way, as soon as possible, to bring them back to reality so that we can form a strong and stable government for the State of Israel that will continue to lead the country to new heights,” he said.

In related news, Israel’s State Comptroller Committee declared on Monday morning that Netanyahu must submit his financial records for review by Friday, pending his request to allow donars to contribute towards the costs of his legal defence as he faces a possible indictment on several counts of corruption. The announcement was seen as a setback for Netanyahu by some legal analysts.

IDF Deputy COS to Attend NATO Meeting
In the latest defeat for the movement to Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) Israel, IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Eyal Zamir has been invited to attend a meeting of the NATO Military Committee meeting in Brussels next week. Senior military officers from Israel’s neighbours, Egypt and Jordan, will also attend under the auspices of NATO’s Middle East Dialogue group.
 
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