Attacks on church in East Jerusalem grow more intense

Karen Dunham (center) with members of Living Bread Church in East Jerusalem. (Living Bread Church)

Karen Dunham (center) with members of Living Bread Church in East Jerusalem. (Living Bread Church)

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – In the latest of several attacks on a congregation in East Jerusalem, young men with ties to a Palestinian militant group wired shut a church door and sprayed a gaseous substance at those inside hours before dawn on Monday (Sept. 29), church sources said.

No one was injured as those sleeping or keeping vigil fled into a hallway before the chemical spray could impair breathing, but it was the second “gas attack” in the past two weeks, Living Bread Church leader Karen Dunham told Morning Star News. On Sept. 17, a man passing by the church’s patio area opened a plastic bag containing a small gas canister inside. Within seconds, Dunham said, people on the porch were unable to breathe and fled into the church building – only to find that someone had pumped the same chemical spray into the worship hall.

Dunham, who suffered a broken wrist in a Sept. 21 assault by young men from the same group, said the attacks aim at stopping the church ministry and forcing the congregation to abandon the property. She believes the assailants are part of a criminal group trying to seize the property.

The Christians opened windows, and the substance dissipated. Dunham said it wasn’t tear gas, which can be relatively common in East Jerusalem, but was something that made it impossible to breathe…

Palestinians? I am taking a wild guess that they are Muslims.

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