The head of the Roman Catholic Church in the Holy Land protested today (November 5, 2013) against Israel's demolition of a church-owned property in annexed east Jerusalem, saying it eroded the chances for peace, the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website reports.
"This act is against the law, against justice, and against humanity -- against any ideology upon which peace can be built -- and increases segregation and hate," Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fuad Tawwal told journalists at the site of the demolition.
Israeli security forces and bulldozers arrived at the house at 5:00 a.m. yesterday with a previously unseen demolition order, claiming it had been built without a permit, according to residents -- a family of 14.
But Tawwal said the property -- on Jerusalem's southeastern edge close to the West Bank city of Bethlehem -- had been standing since before 1967, when Israel seized Arab east Jerusalem in the Six-Day War. He added that the Catholic Church will appeal for compensation to Israeli and international courts over the demolition.