Arab-Israeli Christians celebrate Jerusalem Day with hospitalized children

Event held in memory of Christian police officer Amir Khoury, who was killed in B’nei Brak terror attack.

By Aryeh Savir, TPS

A group of Arab-Israeli Christians and members of the Israel Police visited the oncological ward at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in honor of Jerusalem Day on Sunday for a special event held in memory of Officer Amir Khoury.

Khoury, an Arab-Israeli Christian police officer, 32, was killed in March while confronting a terrorist who was on a shooting rampage in the city of Bnei Brak. Khoury was the first to arrive at the scene of the deadly shooting attack in B’nei Brak in which five people were killed.

The group, members of the Jerusalemites’ Initiative which is active in bridging gaps between Arabic speaking Christians and Jerusalem’s Israeli society, arrived together with Koury’s family, his fiancée Shani, his brother Michael and his mother Samiya, and police officers, to give gifs to the children hospitalized in the ward and celebrate with them on Jerusalem Day.

At the conclusion of the event, Elias Zarina, a member of the Jerusalemites’ Initiative, wished “only unity to this nation, together we are strong, and we have no other country.”

Khoury, an Arab-Christian policeman from the Galilee region, made a significant impact on Israeli society as a whole and is celebrated as a hero and role model, and the Orthodox city of B’nei Brak decided to name a street after him.

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“Khoury did not hesitate for a moment, stormed and stopped the terrorist’s brutal murderous campaign,” the city stated.

The Jerusalemite Initiative operates to empower Arabic-speaking Israeli Christians, of all denominations, who “are proud of belonging to Israel and support the full integration of Christians in the country.”

Explaining the rationale, Greek Orthodox priest Father Gabriel Nadaf said in 2014 that “in the Middle East today, there is one country where Christianity is not only not persecuted, but affectionately granted freedom of expression, freedom of worship and security.”

“It is Israel, the Jewish State. Israel is the only place where Christians in the Middle East are safe,” he added.