Earlier this month, the only Messianic congregation in the southern town of Kiryat Gat was burned down by unidentified assailants.
The Kiryat Gat congregation is under the auspices of Beit Hallel Messianic Congregation in the nearby coastal city of Ashdod. Pastor Israel Pochtar of Beit Hallel posted the following message regarding the apparent arson attack:
"A few weeks ago our congregation in Kiryat Gat was burned down. It is the only congregation in the city, has a big vision for the future, involved in helping many people. Evidently, our influence in the city has been a cause of 'concern' to some and they decided to stop our work by setting the building on fire.
"It happened one night after a service; someone threw a gasoline bomb ("Molotov cocktail") through a window and everything caught fire. Arson is a criminal act, so obviously no one owned up or taken responsibility.
"However, the landlord of the building is very connected in Kiryat Gat and has managed to check and see who could be responsible. It was obvious that it was an attack of a religious nature against us. This was the only gathering place for our Kiryat Gat congregation that now is left without a place to meet and worship. The damage is not only to the building itself, all the music equipment inside was also destroyed. The landlord is a good friend, so he is willing to cover the costs of repairs, and we would have to come up with our deductible."