The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem has condemned an incursion of several thousand Israeli settlers on Church-owned land in the West Bank on Friday.

The plot of land was near the village of Tayasir, near Tubas in the northern West Bank, and was one of several towns invaded by the settlers, who have been urging the Israeli government to annex the area.

In a statement on Saturday, the Patriarchate noted the settlers did not have permission to enter the land, calling the action a violation of private property.

“It should be mentioned that settlers brought their cows, some days ago, to the Patriarchate lands and caused considerable damage there,” the statement said.

“It should be mentioned also that the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem protested to the Israeli authorities on similar violations of its property near Tayasir by settlers, but – so far – violations to our property continues to take place while the authorities are practically not prohibiting them,” the Patriarchate continued, adding it is “very concerned not only from the settlers’ violations of its properties, but also from the lack of action by the Israeli authorities to put an end to such offenses.”

The Patriarchate urged the Israeli authorities “to make sure that law to be respected by all people under their control and to ban further illegal breaking into our properties.”

According the WAFA Palestinian news agency, Israeli settlers also attacked Palestinian shepherds near Tuwaneh village, in the southern of West Bank, forcing them to leave the area, while the Israeli security forces looked on.

Fouad al-Amour, a Palestinian official in charge of monitoring Israeli settlement activities in the area, told WAFA the Israeli soldiers in the area did not intervene to stop the settlers, and instead provided them protection.

Crux is dedicated to smart, wired and independent reporting on the Vatican and worldwide Catholic Church. That kind of reporting doesn’t come cheap, and we need your support. You can help Crux by giving a small amount monthly, or with a onetime gift. Please remember, Crux is a for-profit organization, so contributions are not tax-deductible.