Fire heavily damages Church of Loaves and Fishes on Sea of Galilee Photo by Avihu Sahpira/Israel Sun  20150618 FULL CREDIT MUST BE GIVEN   çåáä ìúú ÷øãéè îìà Fire gutted part of the Church of Loaves and Fishes on the shores of the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel on Thursday and investigators suspect arson as a possible cause, a police spokesman said. The church, which Christians believe is where Jesus performed the Miracle of the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fishes, lies on the shores of the Sea of Galilee and is a traditional site of pilgrimage in the Holy Land. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said investigators were at the site and Hebrew graffiti had been found, which led police and fire service investigators to suspect that the fire had been set deliberately. "Firefighters arrived at the scene at around 3.30 a.m. and it was put out, but extensive damage was caused to the church both inside and out and Hebrew graffiti was found, which has led to suspicions that the fire might have been caused deliberately," Rosenfeld said. The graffiti, on a limestone wall in clear red spray paint denounced the worship of idols.  Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely condemned Thursday's attack. She defended Israel, saying the nation "respects freedom of religion," and expressed her confidence that the police will bring justice to the case. "I am sure that the police force will do everything in its power to arrest those responsible, and to prevent similar attacks in the future," she said. A police spokesperson said Thursday afternoon that 16 minors were taken in for investigation for potential involvement in the arson. They were later released with no charges.  The Roman Catholic church is a modern church was constructed in the 1980s on the remains of a fifth-century Byzantine church in Tabgha on the shore of the Kinneret in northern Israel. It is overseen by the Benedictine Order.  *** Local Caption *** ãìé÷ä ôøöä äáå÷ø (çîéùé) áëðñééú áèáçä äðîöàú òì çåôä äöôåðé ùì äëðøú. ùðé áðé àãí ðôâòå ÷ì îùàéôú òùï åáî÷åí ðîöà ëéúåá áòáøéú îúåê úôéìú òìéðå ìùáç, ääîééçì ëé ìà éäéå òåáãé àìéìéí áàøõ. àìîåðéí äöéúå àú ââ äëðñééä ùðîöàú òì ùôú äëðøú ðáðúä áøàùéú éîé äðöøåú åîòåèøú áôñéôñéí. éùðå ðæ÷ âãåì áëðñééä ùðçùáú ìàçã äî÷åîåú ä÷ãåùéí áéåúø ìðöøåú áéùøàì. îäîùèøä ðîñø ëé ìî÷åí ðâøí ðæ÷ áçãø äàéøåç åáîçñï ùì äëðñééä åëé âí çãø äúôéìä ðéæå÷ ÷ìåú îòùï. ëúåáåú ðàöä áòáøéú ðîöàå òì ä÷éø ëàùø áëúåáú ðëúá äöéèåè "åäàìéìéí ëøåú éëøúåï". æäå çì÷ îúôéìú òìéðå ìùáç äðàîøú ùìåù ôòîéí áéåí. äôéøåù äåà àéçåì ëé ìà éäéå áàøõ ðåöøéí àå îåñìîéí, åîëàï òåìä çùù ìàéøåò úâ îçéø.   ç"ë ðçîï ùé äúééçñ ìäöúä åàîø: "äôâéòä áëðñééä áèáçä ôåâòú çîåøåú áéùøàì åîòøòøú àú úãîéúä ëîãéðä ùîòðé÷ä çåôù ãúé åîâéðä òì äîéòåèéí äçééí áúåëä. áùðéí äàçøåðåú àéøòå òùøåú àéøåòéí ùì çéìåì î÷åîåú ÷ãåùéí ìðåöøéí åìîåñìîéí, àê îùèøú éùøàì ìà äöìéçä ìôòðç àåúí. ëîé ùñáìå áòáø ñáì âãåì åðøãôå áùì ãúí çééáú îãéðú äéäåãéí ìäâï òì ëì àæøçéä".


Fire heavily damages Church of Loaves and Fishes on Sea of Galilee
Photo by Avihu Sahpira/Israel

Israel’s Prime Minister has condemned a suspected religiously motivated arson attack as being ‘outrageous’ and ‘an attack on us all.’

A police investigation is being conducted after a fire gutted part of the Church of Loaves and Fishes on the shores of the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel.

The church, which Christians believe is where Jesus performed the Miracle of the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fishes, is a traditional site of pilgrimage in the Holy Land.  

Photo by Avihu Sahpira/Israel Sun  20150618 FULL CREDIT MUST BE GIVEN   çåáä ìúú ÷øãéè îìà Fire gutted part of the Church of Loaves and Fishes on the shores of the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel on Thursday and investigators suspect arson as a possible cause, a police spokesman said. The church, which Christians believe is where Jesus performed the Miracle of the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fishes, lies on the shores of the Sea of Galilee and is a traditional site of pilgrimage in the Holy Land. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said investigators were at the site and Hebrew graffiti had been found, which led police and fire service investigators to suspect that the fire had been set deliberately. "Firefighters arrived at the scene at around 3.30 a.m. and it was put out, but extensive damage was caused to the church both inside and out and Hebrew graffiti was found, which has led to suspicions that the fire might have been caused deliberately," Rosenfeld said. The graffiti, on a limestone wall in clear red spray paint denounced the worship of idols.  Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely condemned Thursday's attack. She defended Israel, saying the nation "respects freedom of religion," and expressed her confidence that the police will bring justice to the case. "I am sure that the police force will do everything in its power to arrest those responsible, and to prevent similar attacks in the future," she said. A police spokesperson said Thursday afternoon that 16 minors were taken in for investigation for potential involvement in the arson. They were later released with no charges.  The Roman Catholic church is a modern church was constructed in the 1980s on the remains of a fifth-century Byzantine church in Tabgha on the shore of the Kinneret in northern Israel. It is overseen by the Benedictine Order.  *** Local Caption *** ãìé÷ä ôøöä äáå÷ø (çîéùé) áëðñééú áèáçä äðîöàú òì çåôä äöôåðé ùì äëðøú. ùðé áðé àãí ðôâòå ÷ì îùàéôú òùï åáî÷åí ðîöà ëéúåá áòáøéú îúåê úôéìú òìéðå ìùáç, ääîééçì ëé ìà éäéå òåáãé àìéìéí áàøõ. àìîåðéí äöéúå àú ââ äëðñééä ùðîöàú òì ùôú äëðøú ðáðúä áøàùéú éîé äðöøåú åîòåèøú áôñéôñéí. éùðå ðæ÷ âãåì áëðñééä ùðçùáú ìàçã äî÷åîåú ä÷ãåùéí áéåúø ìðöøåú áéùøàì. îäîùèøä ðîñø ëé ìî÷åí ðâøí ðæ÷ áçãø äàéøåç åáîçñï ùì äëðñééä åëé âí çãø äúôéìä ðéæå÷ ÷ìåú îòùï. ëúåáåú ðàöä áòáøéú ðîöàå òì ä÷éø ëàùø áëúåáú ðëúá äöéèåè "åäàìéìéí ëøåú éëøúåï". æäå çì÷ îúôéìú òìéðå ìùáç äðàîøú ùìåù ôòîéí áéåí. äôéøåù äåà àéçåì ëé ìà éäéå áàøõ ðåöøéí àå îåñìîéí, åîëàï òåìä çùù ìàéøåò úâ îçéø.   ç"ë ðçîï ùé äúééçñ ìäöúä åàîø: "äôâéòä áëðñééä áèáçä ôåâòú çîåøåú áéùøàì åîòøòøú àú úãîéúä ëîãéðä ùîòðé÷ä çåôù ãúé åîâéðä òì äîéòåèéí äçééí áúåëä. áùðéí äàçøåðåú àéøòå òùøåú àéøåòéí ùì çéìåì î÷åîåú ÷ãåùéí ìðåöøéí åìîåñìîéí, àê îùèøú éùøàì ìà äöìéçä ìôòðç àåúí. ëîé ùñáìå áòáø ñáì âãåì åðøãôå áùì ãúí çééáú îãéðú äéäåãéí ìäâï òì ëì àæøçéä".

Photo by Avihu Sahpira/Israel Sun

“The shocking arson of the church is an attack on all of us,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

“Israel’s freedom of religion is a cornerstone of our values and it is anchored in the law. We will mete out justice to those responsible for this atrocious act. We have no room for hatred and intolerance in our society.”

President Reuven Rivlin told Gregory Collins, head of the Order of Saint Benedict in Israel: “I was shocked and saddened to learn this morning of the fire at the Church at Tabgha,” adding every effort should be made “to bring those responsible to justice.”

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said investigators were at the site and Hebrew graffiti had been found, which led police and fire service investigators to suspect that the fire had been set deliberately.

“Firefighters arrived at the scene at around 3.30 a.m. and it was put out, but extensive damage was caused to the church both inside and out and Hebrew graffiti was found, which has led to suspicions that the fire might have been caused deliberately,” Rosenfeld said.

 

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The grafiti at the church – reading ‘and false idols will be smashed’ (Credit: Israel Fire and Rescue Services)

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely condemned Thursday’s attack. She defended Israel, saying the nation “respects freedom of religion,” and expressed her confidence that the police will bring justice to the case.

“I am sure that the police force will do everything in its power to arrest those responsible, and to prevent similar attacks in the future,” she said.

The Roman Catholic church is a modern church was constructed in the 1980s on the remains of a fifth-century Byzantine church in Tabgha on the shore of the Kinneret in northern Israel. It is overseen by the Benedictine Order.