The bishop of Nazareth Mgr Boulos Marcuzzo was shot at by Israeli soldiers yesterday afternoon. The incident happened as he drove out of the town to visit an elderly priest in the village of Zababdeh inside the occupied territories. The bishop was in his diplomatic car flying the official Vatican flag, accompanied by his secretary, Fr Elie Kurzum, and Fr Elias Odeh, parish priest of Shefa Amer. When they arrived at the checkpoint before Zababdeh near Bezeq Israeli military camp, soldiers pointed their guns at the car and asked the group to stop and go back. When the bishop tried to speak, the soldiers fired at the car three times. No one was injured. The bishop continued driving and stopped at another checkpoint further along the road where he explained what had happened. The commander apologised and said he would accompany the car on their return. However when they came back from their visit again they were stopped at gunpoint again and forced to turn back. The group managed to get back to Nazareth several hours later via side roads. Fr Raed Abusahlia, Chancellor of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem said: "If this happens now with such a high ranking person what must happen every day and night to ordinary people?" He said: "We consider that was as an unjustified action against one of our very important clergymen of the Latin Patriarchate and a clear violation of the right of the freedom of movement not only to the whole of the Palestinian population but also to diplomats. "Therefore we appeal to the Israeli authorities to stop this closure and siege of the Palestinian territories and to remove all the checkpoints which are dividing and separating our villages and cities one from another making out of it big prisons of a whole people." "We think that justice and only justice for the Palestinian is the best solution of the actual conflict because peace cannot be but the fruit of justice. This is the only guarantee of the claimed security of the Israelis as well."
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