On September 26 a fire destroyed the old wing of St. Charbel Maronite Monastery, in Bethlehem, causing serious damage to its structure. The building, which was being renovated, suffered extensive damage.
According to preliminary investigations and to the statement released by Police Authority and by the Chancellor of the Maronite Patriarchate in Jerusalem, Deacon Sobhy Makhoul, the fire was an act of arson.
Bethlehem’s St. Charbel Monastery is located in the suburb of Wadi Maali, in an area inhabited by Christian and Muslim families.
The structure includes several rooms and a small chapel for prayer.
The fire started in the basement and then it spread to other areas of the building.
(Zenit) Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas expressed his solidarity to the Maronite Church following an arson attack on monastery in Bethlehem.
On September 30th, the Maronite Monastery of Mar Charbel was attacked in what is believed to be an act of criminal retaliation.
Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rai, Patriarch of Antioch and head of the Maronite Church, received a call from President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine, who expressed his solidarity with the Church. He also assured the Patriarch his commitment in finding the perpetrators.
For his part, Patriarch Rai thanked the President, particularly for the funds provided by the Palestinian government for the monastery’s restoration.
According to Fides, investigators of the Palestinian police force say that the arson attack was revenge for the ‘use of financing arranged for the restoration of the monastery.”