Release from the Christian & Missionary Alliance
We were in connection with Howard Bass, an Pastor from Yeshua’s Inheritance Congregation in Beersheva, who was with Ellen Elbel, wife of Roger Elbel, from the Christian Alliance. They gave us Jack Saada’s telephone number who is authorized by the Christian Alliance to give facts and speak to the media. I spoke to Jack and he said that the Israeli media were slow to respond and so far Ma’ariv is the only Israeli newspaper to report it. Because of this, other media outlets with bad intentions have been picking up the story and using it for other purposes. The fire happened early in the morning and there were several volunteers that were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation but thank God they were released. The police have confirmed that the fire was arson, and Jewish extremists are suspected.With Much appreciation,D. OrtizBelow is the Press Release from the Christian Alliance:The Jerusalem Alliance Church Ministry CenterRev. Jack SaraSpokes personPress Release #1, 1st of November 2010On Friday morning at 1:00 AM we reported a fire to the Jerusalem police and fire department, which erupted in our church property on Prophets Street 55 in the center of Jerusalem. The church property is known as the Jerusalem Alliance Church Ministry Center (JACMC). Ten persons were sleeping in the church overnight facilities in the building at the time. Nine persons visiting the Holy Land together as a group were from one of our churches in the USA. One person was from a church in Denmark. Members of this group alerted me to the emergency, and neighbors living next to our church alerted emergency agencies in Jerusalem to come to the scene of the fire. Within 20 minutes emergency and ambulance personnel arrived to fight the fire and evacuate any persons that may have been remaining in our church building.The main location of the fire was discovered to be in 2 lower basement rooms, which we had named Room Number Six and Seven. By 1:20 AM the fire crews with hoses had located this fire and I saw 2 sofas outside the building (and positioned 1.5 meters outside these rooms) being heavily consumed in flames. The flames in Room Number 6 were extinguished, smoke was cleared from Room Number 7, and the remainder of the church building was checked and emergency rescue teams and equipment were removed and departed.All 10 persons had evacuated themselves earlier without serious injury. When the church building had filled with smoke, most of these persons had been awakened from their sleep by the smell of the smoke and quickly went to alert others. After arriving outside, most of them went to the Bikur Cholim Hospital Clinic (located adjacent to our church building on Prophets Street) for medical check-ups and treatment. After receiving timely medical care, especially for smoke inhalation, they were released at 5:00 AM in reasonably good health. Some were still in minor shock and discomfort.The police gave us no clue of who would be the persons behind the fire! The church is located near a very religious Jewish neighborhood.But the Police did confirm for us today that it was arson.This church building was erected by Christian and Missionary Alliance church since the start of the 20th century, was completed in 1914, mainly used for the serviced of believers who come from different backgrounds. Palestine Bible College was established there , an Arab congregation was established there and it continues to exist till our day and time.After the 1948 was access to Arabs at that section of the city was limited, that why they had to allocate in the Old City of Jerusalem in the Christian Quarter, Al Rusul Street.Since 1967 the building served for many purposes besides being a sanctuary for worship. Hosted several international and local congregations, was used as a pilgrims house for so many years and since the beginning of the second Intifada was used by both the Israel college of the Bible and the Alliance Leadership Training Institute as a training center for leaders among the congregations in the Holy Land.Ultimately we always desired our building to be a beacon of light reflecting God’s love to all people. Situated in a city that it’s enough divided by hate we seek to be an agent of reconciliation and peace to all parties.We will continue to serve the Holy Land residents from this place, proclaiming peace and justice for all human beings, declaring God’s love for all of our neighbors, friends and enemies.This is an article which appeared in the Israeli press:Maariv Newspaper – 29/10/2010
SUSPECTED: ORTHODOX JEWS LIT A FIRE IN A CHURCH IN THE CENTER OF JERUSALEM
Reported by Yosi Eli
Police suspect that the church that caught fire on Friday morning is the result of deliberate arson by the ultra orthodox. Fire fighters that arrived at the location evacuated 12 people that were injured in the fire to get treatment in the hospital. The police are investigating the crime scene.
The fire department received a report that smoke was coming out of the church on Niviím street in central Jerusalem.
12 people were evacuated from the burning buildingand 12 fire teams were dispatched to the scene and by the help of a cranethe fire department evacuated people who were trapped in the building. Additional forces found where the fire originated fromand it was on the floor that was used as a hostel for tourists that come to visit. After a while the fire department managed to take control of the fire and stop it from spreading to different sections of the building. The main sanctuary was not damaged.
According to the initial investigation by the Jerusalem district policethe fire was started by people belonging to the Ultra Orthodox community in the City. It is noted that in the past the church had received threats that their property would be damaged.
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חשד: חרדים הציתו כנסייה במרכז ירושלים
12 אנשים נפגעו בשריפה שפרצה בכנסייה ברחוב הנביאים. המשטרה חושדת שחרדים הציתו את המקום, לאור איומים שהציגו בעבר
המשטרה חושדת כי כנסייה שעלתה באש לפנות בוקר (ו’) היא תוצאה של הצתה מכוונת שנעשתה על ידי חרדים. כוחות כיבוי אש שהגיעו למקום פינו 12 אנשים שנפגעו בשריפה לטיפול בבית החולים. המשטרה חוקרת את האירוע.שריפה בכנסיה בירושלים צילום: להב אסף אברס, כבאות ירושלים
במוקד כיבוי האש התקבלה הלילה הודעה על עשן רב היוצא ממתחם הכנסייה ברחוב הנביאים בירושלים.
למקום הוזנקו 12 צוותים, ובסיוע מנוף החלו בחילוץ לכודים מתוך המבנה הבוער. מהמקום פונו 12 תיירים, שהועברו לקבלת טיפול רפואי. במקביל, איתרו כוחות נוספים את מוקד הדליקה בקומה התחתונה של המבנה אשר משמש כאכסניה.
לאחר זמן מה הצליחו הכבאים להשתלט על הדליקה ובלמו את התפשטותה לאגפים אחרים במבנה. לבית התפילה לא נגרם נזק.
על פי חקירה ראשונית של כוחות הכיבוי ומשטרת
מחוז ירושלים, עולה החשד כי מדובר בהצתה של אנשים הנמנים על הקהילה החרדית בעיר. עוד נודע כי בעבר הכנסייה התלוננה על איומים מצדם לפגוע במקום.