Christians in Palestine request prayer following the intimidation of Christian residents of Jifna, near Ramallah, by armed militiamen.
On Thursday 25 April, a Christian woman was involved in a minor car accident, which she reported to the Palestinian Authorities police, filing a complaint against the driver of the other vehicle involved. The driver was the son of a prominent Palestinian affiliated with Fatah, the ruling party in the West Bank.
Later that day, the prominent Palestinian (father of the driver), accompanied by approximately thirty armed militants, reportedly from the Al-Am’ari refugee camp, terrorised the Christian community of Jifna, firing guns into the air, throwing petrol bombs, and demanding that the complaint made against the son involved in the car accident be withdrawn. No-one was injured, but there was damage to property, including some vehicles.
Residents called police in Ramallah, but they attended only three hours later, leading some to conclude that Palestinian Christians do not have equal access to state security.
Leila Ghanem, the Governor of Ramallah, told the Jerusalem Post newspaper that the culprits would be punished.
However, on 29 April, a reconciliation meeting took place between the Christian residents of Jifna and some of those responsible for the attack. The father and son apologised and the lady withdrew her complaint. Such reconciliation meetings may calm situations in the short term, but do not promote accountability for actions and allow crime to go unpunished.
Christians in Palestine are grateful that no one was hurt in the attack, but request prayer that:
- The Lord will comfort the residents of Jifna, especially those traumatised by the attack, and enable them to respond wisely
- Church leaders in Palestine will be able to encourage the Christian community and cooperate with the authorities to maintain a peaceful existence
- The Palestinian Authorities will uphold the law and provide security for all citizens, including Christians, appropriately punish the perpetrators and investigate why the police took so long to respond to the incident