Tzachi Hanegbi
Tzachi Hanegbi Yonatan Sindel, Flash 90

Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud) condemned on Monday a vandalism incident at St. Stephen's Church in Beit Jimal, near Beit Shemesh.

On September 20, some of the church's stained glass windows were broken, and a statue was shattered.

"I was very saddened to hear about last Wednesday's indefensible act of vandalism against the St. Stephen’s Church in Beit Jimal," Hanegbi said. "I strongly condemn this, and any other act of vandalism against a holy site of any faith."

"Vandalism of holy sites stands in complete contrast to the State of Israel's values and traditions as a Jewish state. Israel is a democracy that guarantees freedom of religion and worship and is committed to coexistence and a culture of mutual respect.

"Vandalism of Christian holy sites in Israel is not only an attack against Christianity, it is an attack on our democracy.

"The State of Israel will not tolerate vandalism against any holy site. We will act with determination to find those responsible and bring them to justice."