by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - A Palestinian court has released evangelical pastor Johnny Shahwan, who spent 40 days in jail for allegedly meeting with Israeli rabbi and politician Yehuda Glick, the Christian Post (CP) reports.
Shahwan was accused of engaging in normalization with the “Zionist entity” by welcoming an “extremist Zionist settler” to his ministry building.
Shahwan leads the Beit Al-Liqa (House of Encounter) ministry in Beit Jala near Bethlehem; he was arrested on March 2 after Glick attended a meeting at the ministry site, CP reports. Palestinian authorities also shut the ministry down.
However, Shahwan denies having intentionally met with Glick: Beit Al-Liqa published a statement explaining that the ministry had “hosted a group of German tourists and at the end of the meeting with Shahwan, an unidentified person at the time, Glick, suddenly walked in and asked to take a ‘selfie’ with Shahwan and the tourists.”
“We were not aware of the presence of this extremist Zionist person, and he was not part of the group’s itinerary,” Beit Al-Liqa attested.
Moreover, Beit Al-Liqa assured Palestinian authorities of their “commitment as a Palestinian national Christian institution to all Palestinians and opposition to normalization [with Israel].” The statement added that Beit Al-Liqa regards Jewish settlers in the West Bank as “criminals.”