Terrorist glorifying Christmas tree returns to East Jerusalem

Every year around Christmas time, somewhere in East Jerusalem a tree glorifying terrorists is erected. Drawing significant attraction, prominent Arab leaders in Jerusalem are using the tree as a platform to incite hatred against Israel.
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This past year's wave of terrorism has recently dwindled in East Jerusalem neighborhoods. Nonetheless, these neighborhoods continue to glorify the terrorists who perpetrated attacks. A Christmas tree similar to the one that had been erected last year at Al-Quds University was erected in Al Hussar Square at the entrance to Al-Azaria in the eastern part of the city decorated with images of prominent terrorists.  

The tree has become a tourist attraction with hundreds of visitors including Atallah Hanna, the Bishop of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem. Hanna declared to those passing by the importance of the Palestinian peoples' attachment to their land and of protecting the holy places through any means.

Bishop Hanna in front of the tree decorated with images of terrorists Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

"This is a message from the heart of Palestine, from the Holy Land," stated the Bishop who was investigated in the past for his relationship with persons involved in terrorism. "As a nation, we cling to our national unity. Our message this Christmas is one of steadfastness and our intent to stay in this Holy Land." Other speakers at the site spoke more explicitly, praising the terrorists who committed attacks during the Al Quds Intifada this past year.   

Channel 2 News Online obtained footage of IDF Border Policemen removing the images from the tree late last night. However, there are those who claim that the yearly presence of this Tree of Shahids somewhere in East Jerusalem is a reflection of the weak Israeli control over the entire city and they believe that criminal proceedings should be brought against Bishop Hanna.

“This is not the first time Atallah Hanna takes a side in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and finds every opportunity to incite against Israel,” said Maor Zemach, Chairman of the For You Jerusalem Organization. “He has donated money to terrorists’ families in Jerusalem and glorifies them every chance he gets. It is unfortunate to see a religious communal leader from Jerusalem working to incite hatred against Israel rather than trying to mitigate tensions. I call on the Israeli security agencies to prosecute him for incitement.”

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