Ramallah – Ma’an –
A newly-built Coptic Christian church was severely damaged by fire in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Tuesday.Firefighters and police rushed to put out the blaze but were unable to prevent damage to the interior of the building. A depiction of Jesus was one of the only items to survive the fire.Palestinian police spokesperson Colonel Adnan Dhmeiri said that an initial investigation had ruled out arson. He said that the fire may have been caused by an employee who discarded a cigarette on the church grounds.The Coptic Patriarchate in Jerusalem refused to comment on the fire for lack of information, preferring to wait for results of the investigation.The Coptic Church in Ramallah is the first of its kind. Built recently, the interior of the facility had only been furnished a few days ago in preparation for an official inauguration.