A tourist from the United States has been arrested for allegedly attacking a statue of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem.
The suspect is believed to have condemned the use of “idols” in the Catholic Church, situated inside the city on the Via Dolorosa route – the path believed to have been taken by Jesus as he faced his crucifixion.
In a video on social media, a man can be heard shouting, “you can’t have idols in Jerusalem” and “this is a holy city”.
He can also be heard saying, “It’s in the second commandment”, and repeatedly referring to Exodus 20, in which the Ten Commandments are laid out.
The man is wrestled to the floor by another man in plain clothes who can be heard calling for assistance and saying, “you can’t push the statue, sir”.
The statue was broken as a result of the attack. According to Israeli police, the suspect’s mental health is being assessed.
Tensions in Jerusalem have escalated considerably in recent weeks. Church leaders have spoken out against the “exploding, senseless cycle of violence” that has resulted in some of the worst nights the West Bank has seen in recent years.
Pope Francis has issued a call for peace in the region as missile attacks continue.