Jewish-American tourist ‘vandalises Jesus statue’ inside church in occupied Jerusalem

Sanctuary of the Flagellation Church in the Old City of Jerusalem after the statue of Jesus was toppled by a Jewish-American extremist on Thursday morning, 2 February 2023. [Ibrahim Husseini/TNA]

Jewish-American tourist walked into a church in the Old City of Jerusalem, struck a century-old statue depicting Jesus Christ with a hammer, and then toppled it before the guard on site subdued him, churchgoers say.

The alleged incident happened Thursday morning inside a compound on Via Dolorosa road that contains the churches of The Way of the Cross and Sanctuary of the Flagellation.

“Exodus Chapter 20 says you can’t have idols in Jerusalem. This is the holy city,” the man reportedly cried as the guard held him to the ground.

“Let me get my Kippah on,” the man pleaded.

The Kippah is a skull cap worn by orthodox Jewish men. A video that emerged showed a man wearing trousers with tassels attached to them being subdued.

Majed al-Risheq, the guard on site, told The New Arab that the alleged assailant entered the compound as a group of visitors made their way in.

“Many Catholics come here to do the Way of the Cross,” al-Risheq said.

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