Israel condemns attack on Coptic cathedral in Cairo

Israel condemned the horrific attack on Egypt’s diminishing Christian minority. 

Israel issued a sharp condemnation of Sunday’s attack on Egypt’s main Coptic Christian cathedral, which killed 25 worshipers and wounded some 50 others.

Israel “condemns the reprehensible terrorist attack at the Coptic cathedral in Cairo,” a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office read. “Israel shares in the grief of the families of the victims and of the Egyptian people.”

Israel called on Egypt to “unite forces and fight terrorism together.”

Egypt Mourns

In the meantime, Egypt is mourning the 25 Christians killed in the church bombing.

Egypt’s Coptic community held a funeral service on Monday for the victims of the bombing, one of the deadliest attacks targeting the country’s religious minority in recent memory.

The bomb went off during Sunday Mass at a chapel adjacent to St. Mark’s Cathedral, seat of the ancient Coptic Orthodox church. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, although Islamic terrorism is suspected in this incident.

The coffins of the victims were laid in front of the altar, with their names displayed.

The spiritual leader of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Christians, Pope Tawadros II, led the service. He had cut short a visit to Greece and flew home on Sunday following news of the bombing.

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Some of the victims’ relatives who attended the service screamed out in grief, while the rest quietly sobbed or sat somberly during the ceremony.

Scores of black-clad monks, bishops and priests of the Coptic Orthodox sect attended Monday’s service, which was carried live by both state and private television networks.

An official state funeral was due to take place later Monday, with President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in attendance.

The attack was the deadliest against Egypt’s Christians in recent years, surpassing the death toll from a New Year’s Day bombing in 2011 in the city of Alexandria, for centuries the seat of the Coptic Orthodox church. At least 21 were killed in that attack.

In addition to expressing concerns for their safety, Egypt’s Christians have long complained of discrimination and persecution, saying they are denied top jobs in many fields, including academia and security forces.

By: World Israel News staff and AP