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Anti-Christian acts raise tensions in Israel as papal visit nears

Catholic World News - May 13, 2014

A rash of anti-Christian violence is “poisoning” the atmosphere in Israel in the days leading up to a visit by Pope Francis, warns Latin-rite Catholic Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem.

Israeli leaders have expressed concern about acts of vandalism, and a state prosecutor has warned that violations of laws against hate crimes could lead to administrative detention and “a lengthy period of time without trial.”

Police attribute the anti-Christian acts to a handful of Jewish extremists living in settlements on Palestinian territory on the West Bank. The ANSA news agency quoted a police source as saying, “We know who they are.”

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