Video shows Jerusalem Police assault elderly priest

The six-minute video clearly depicts the highly-publicized assault on the 85-year-old head of the Coptic Church in Ramallah.

May 14, 2013 19:11
1 minute read.
Coptic church in Ramallah

coptic church in ramallah. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


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A video released Tuesday showed Jerusalem Police assault an elderly Egyptian Coptic priest outside an Old City church on May 4, while he and various other Egyptian clerics and diplomats attempted to attend a holiday mass one day before Easter.

The six-minute video, released by Maariv, clearly depicts the highly-publicized assault, during which Father Arsanios, the 85-year-old head of the Coptic Church in Ramallah, can be seen being battered by the officers.

Following the melee, which reportedly started due to a disagreement over how the parishioners could enter the church, Arsanios briefly lost consciousness, and was subsequently treated and released at an area hospital.

The confrontation resulted in a formal apology from Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin on Thursday to Cairo, as well as a joint letter from heads of the Churches of Jerusalem condemning the Jerusalem officers.

While Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld would not discuss details of the video when contacted for comment Tuesday, he said police are actively meeting with representatives of the Egyptian church to resolve the incident.

“As far as I know, there was a meeting yesterday between Jerusalem Police and members of the Church to address the matter,” Rosenfeld said. “Hopefully the situation will be resolved.”

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