Israel detains Christian church leader

 Israeli occupation authorities today arrested a senior Palestinian Christian Orthodox leader and took him for questioning to a police centre in Occupied East Jerusalem. Archimandrite Atallah Hanna was taken from his home in the Old City to the Jerusalem district police headquarters following an order by Israel's Attorney General Elyakim Rubenstein, the Israeli daily Ha,aretz reported. Israeli security sources alleged that the Archimandrite is suspected of attempting to meet with heads of terrorist organizations and praising the Palestinian struggle in comments published previously by the media. Palestinian Muslim and Christian figures called for the immediate release of Archimandrite Hanna, describing his detention as a violation of the right to religious freedom and free speech. Marwan Toubasi, spokesman of the Greek Orthodox community in the West Bank, said Hanna's detention was "part of the Israeli attacks on the religious freedom for Christian and Muslim religious men." "It is an attempt to silence the voice that expresses the pains of his community which is part of the Palestinian people," he added. Sheik Ikrema Sabri, a senior Palestinian religious official said: "there are a lot of Israeli rabbis who have extreme opinions against Arabs and the Palestinians and they have been never detained by the Israeli police." Mr Ahmad Abdel Rahaman, a senior PNA official, condemned the detention of Archimandrite Hanna saying that it shows Israeli aggression has "bypassed all red lines by attacking a spiritual and religious figure such as Archimandrite Attalla Hanna." Mr Rahaman called upon the Christian church and its followers all around the world to intervene immediately and pressure the Israeli authorities into immediately releasing Archimandrite Hanna. source: Palestine Media Centre

Share this story