By Martin Roth, BosNewsLife Senior Special Correspondent
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL (BosNewsLife)– Militants from the Islamic State (IS) group are threatening to massacre Christians in Jerusalem, according to leaflets distributed in Israel’s capital.
Signed “Islamic State, Jerusalem Emirate,” the leaflet says IS knows where most Christians in Jerusalem live, and warns they have until Eid al-Fitr – the festival marking the end of Ramadan on July 19th – to leave the city or be killed, several Israeli media reported.
Israel’s Arutz Sheva news service said IS does not have an operational presence in Israel, though support for the group “has been growing” among Arabs.
Several Christian groups, ranging from the pro-Israel ‘International Christian Embassy Jerusalem’ (ICEJ) to the global television network GOD TV have offices in Jerusalem.
Security was expected to be increased in a nation already on edge following several terror attacks in recent years.
The Haaretz newspaper said it remained unclear whether the leaflets, which were discovered Saturday, June 27, came from IS and suggested they might have been a prank.
Haaretz quoted the former Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah, as expressing doubts that the leaflets came from IS.
He suggested that they might instead be an attempt to divert public attention from an arson attack earlier this month on the Church of the Multiplication.
This church, in Tabgha on the Sea of Galilee, claims to be the site where Jesus miraculously fed 5,000 people with bread and fish.
Jewish extremists have been blamed for the attack.
(BosNewsLife’s Stefan J. Bos contributed to the story).
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