Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem (AFP, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Following a vandalist "attack" on a Catholic monastery in Israel, the Council of Catholic Churches in Jerusalem released a statement on Thursday, condemning the incident and demanding that Israeli authorities hold the perpetrators responsible. Official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency reported that the incident took place on Wednesday night at the St. Stephen Church, which is part of the complex of Beit Jimal, a Catholic monastery run by Salesian monks in the Jerusalem area.According to Wafa, unidentified assailants destroyed glass works and statues that depicted the life of Jesus and the Virgin Mary. The council demanded "that the State of Israel, with all its institutions concerned, punish who were responsible for such acts because it could easily lead to serious and unpredictable consequences, which would be most unwelcome in the current tense religious climate."The statement went on to say that the council "prayed for a just and lasting peace in the whole region and stressed the importance of the coexistence in the holy land," Wafa said. An Israeli police spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.