Palestinians wielding guns and firebombs attacked five churches in the West Bank and Gaza on Saturday, following remarks by Pope Benedict XVI that angered Muslims. The attacks left church doors charred and walls pockmarked with bullet holes and scorched by firebombs. At least five firebombs hit Nablus’ Anglican church and firebombings left black scorch marks on the walls and windows of Greek Orthodox churches as well. Later Saturday, four masked gunmen doused the main doors of Nablus’ Roman and Greek Catholic churches with lighter fluid, then set them afire. They also opened fire on the buildings. In Gaza City, militants opened fire at a Greek Orthodox church. Explosive devices were set off at the same Gaza church on Friday.
George Awad, a cleric at the Greek Orthodox church in Nablus, said he and other Christians have apologized for the pope’s remarks and urged Muslims to use restraint. “There is no reason to burn our churches,” he said.
cross-posted on Campaign to Divest from Palestine