Protect us from Islamic terror during Easter, Arab Christians urge Israeli gov’t

Group advocating for Arabic-speaking Christians begs Israeli government for “extra protection” during upcoming Easter period over fears that churches will be targeted by Islamic terrorists.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

An NGO representing Israel’s Arabic-speaking Christians wrote an open letter to the Israeli government on Tuesday, asking for additional protection from the Israeli authorities ahead of the Easter holiday over fears that churches could become targets for Islamic terrorists.

“We have learned from past terrorist attacks in neighboring countries lessons that Christians and their symbols were and still are a target for ISIS terrorists,” read the letter by the Jerusalemite Initiative, which was addressed to Internal Security Minister Omer Barlev and Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

ISIS attacks against Christians went unabated “until their Satanic acts of terrorism reached the point of mass genocide, as recognized by the EU,” the letter continued.

The letter urged the Israeli authorities to “take these threats seriously” and “provide maximum security for Christians, religious buildings, churches, Christian houses of worship and symbols” ahead of the upcoming Easter holiday.

If Christians were attacked by Muslim during the holiday period, the letter noted, such a security failure would “cause great embarrassment and damage to the State of Israel” on the international stage.

On Wednesday morning, the Jerusalem Initiative released a statement mourning the death of Amir Khoury, an Arab Christian police officer who was murdered in a terror attack in Bnei Brak on Tuesday evening.

“Amir, you are a symbol of our shared destiny,” the group wrote on their Facebook page along an emoji of an Israeli flag and a cross. “You are the pride of the Christian community in Israel…he sacrificed himself in order to save innocents… May his memory be blessed.”

A 32-year-old from the northern mixed Arab-Jewish municipality of Nof HaGalil, Khoury charged the gunman and was shot fatally, though he reportedly managed to strike the terrorist as well.

Israel is the only country in the Middle East with a growing Christian population, which increases by some one percent each year.