Posted by D from 126.96.36.199.cfl.rr.com (188.8.131.52) on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 10:38PM :
Israeli soldiers open fire at Nazareth bishop's car
JERUSALEM, Jan 9 (AFP) – The bishop of Nazareth, Boulos Marcuzzo, said Tuesday that Israeli soldiers fired at his car as he tried to travel to his parish in Zababeh village in the West Bank.
"I was in my car which had the patriarchal flag flying on it, with my driver, two priests and a nun, when three Israeli soldiers from Bezek base rushed in our direction shouting that we had to stop," Marcuzzo told AFP.
The bishop said his driver parked the car and asked an Israeli soldier what he should do.
"A soldier responded to him, 'Be quiet, or I'll fire a bullet in your head.' Then they fired three bullets, one near me, one above the car and another under the frame," said the bishop, adding that the soldiers never asked the travellers to identify themselves.
Marcuzzo said they then travelled back to the nearby military camp of Barak, where they explained the situation to an officer who apologized and escorted them back.
But the soldiers once again blocked the bishop and the party had to take sideroads to go back to Nazareth, he said.
"This incident is intolerable and goes against agreements between Israel and the Holy See which give freedom of action to pastors. This shows the current situation in Palestinian territories," he said, adding that he planned a formal complaint to the Israeli government and military.
A military spokesman in Jerusalem told AFP that an investigation had been opened into the incident.
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