Leaders of Israeli Arabs blame government for church attack

Published March 4th, 2006 - 09:17 GMT

Leaders of Israeli Arabs met earlier in Nazareth with Catholic leaders to discuss Friday night's detonation of fireworks by in the city's Basilica of the Annunciation.

The Higher Israeli Arab Monitoring Committee read a statement calling on the Israeli government to "take full responsibility for the incident in the Church of the Annunciation, and to deal with forces considering attacks on holy sites, forces that developed against a backdrop of hatred and defiance of the Arab public."


According to Haaretz, Chairman of the Monitoring Committee, Shawqi Khatib, said that that "Arab public cannot absorb such blows, and we warn the leaders of the state against another attempt at harming the Arab public."


Responding to police statements that mental illness motivated the attack, MP Ahmed Tibi asked, "Why is it that when a Jewish extremist goes crazy, he burns a mosque or blows up a church? This is a sickness of racism and hatred of Arabs, Muslims and Christians alike."


Hadash Chairman MP Mohammed Barakeh warned, "The issue is not who carried out yesterday's attack in Nazareth, but rather who is next in line. All of the these criminals are known to security officials, who bear the responsibility of arresting them and preventing further attacks on the Arab public."

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