» 06/15/2010, 00.00
PALESTINE – ISRAEL
For Gaza priest, Israel’s occupation humiliates the Palestinian people
“There are no differences between Christians and Muslims because we all suffer the same way,” Fr Manawel Musallam says. He is in favour of a dialogue with Israel, but wants to see “concrete steps” in defence of the population. “Many factors,” he believes, “prevent us from seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Gaza (AsiaNews) – Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip and its occupation of Palestinian territories “are a source of humiliation for the [Palestinian] people”, and “undermine people’s lives”, said Fr Manawel Musallam, former parish priest at the Holy Family Church in Gaza. Speaking to AsiaNews, he said that Christians and Muslims are in the same boat, and suffer the same way. The Israeli government could “ease” its hold on Gaza and give a powerless population some breathing space. Yet, pressure by the international community on Israel has not changed things. “We are still under occupation and only when it ends will the situation improve,” Fr Musallam said.
For the Catholic priest, “There are no differences between Christians and Muslims because we all suffer the same way” as “the people of Palestine”.
“Christians are not threatened by Muslims,” he said. Everyone faces the same problem, that of “humiliation”. Their lives that are “disrupted” and they exist without “light, power and water”.
Years of blockade have stunted the development of the territories. “We don’t lack food, but there are no jobs, so people do not have enough money to buy it. For many, there is no future.”
Father Musallam slams Israel’s strategy of acting as if it did not have any borders. In Jerusalem, “it annexes entire pieces of land without considering that Jerusalem is equally Muslim, Christian and Jewish”.
Borders, Palestinian refugees, and Jewish settlements are unresolved problems that affect the path towards peace and reconciliation.
In Gaza, reconciliation is impossible for Fr Musallam, and the return of Palestinian refugees is not foreseeable.
As a representative of the Palestinian community, Fr Musallam is “in favour of a dialogue” with Israel. However, he also wants “to see concrete steps taken for the protection of the population”, first among them, “open crossings” because the blockade has strangled the local economy. From the international; community, he would like to “see people on the ground rather than idle chat.”
“We cannot surrender or give up hope even if Israel does not want peace,” he explained. “It is hard to send signals of hope” because there are “so many factors that prevent us from seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.” Yet, “I always pray with my faithful, saying that we cannot lose hope for peace.”
14/08/2014 ISRAEL - PALESTINE
For Gaza parish priest, Israel's offensive on the Palestinians was like an "atomic bomb"
Fr Manawel Musallam talks about the conditions in which people live in the Gaza Strip after four weeks of bombing. Children and adolescents have been hurt "in body and spirit," unable to "find joy, talk about peace or offer it others." By its actions, Israel "is not only destroying the humanity of the people of Gaza, but also that of its own people."
21/02/2006 PALESTINE ISRAEL HOLY LAND
No distinction is possible between Hamas and the Palestinians, says the Custodian of the Holy Land
In an interview with AsiaNews, Father Pizzaballa says that despite claims that it does not want to adversely affect the population, Israel's decision to withhold payments to PNA in the wake of the victory by Hamas will create further difficulties for the Palestinians. In Bethlehem people expect hard times ahead and have little faith in fellow Arab countries.
06/11/2006 HOLY LAND
Fr Pizzaballa: Pope has made strong appeal to responsibility of all
The Custodian of the Holy Land was cautious about the reactions of the political world and also about the announcement of Hamas and Fatah that they have reached agreement about a national unity government. In Gaza, the foremost need is to stop violence. Everyone wants to emerge from the situation but they are "slaves" to their prejudice and schemes.
Gaza priest slams barbaric attack against Sisters of the Rosary
Fr Manuel Musallam tells AsiaNews about the destruction of the sisters’ convent and chapel by unknown thugs during the war between Hamas and Fatah. Christians and Muslims express their solidarity. “Please, pray for us!” he says. “We have had it with war, murderers and occupation, with the humiliation of the people!”
21/01/2008 PALESTINE - ISRAEL
Gaza left in the dark by Israeli fuel embargo
Palestinians cry out against the cut in fuel supplies; Israel demands that rocket launches against Israeli cities are stopped. Candle-light processions a long the streets of Gaza.
Card. Tong’s article on China-Holy See dialogue, arouses joy and dismay
The Hong Kong bishop’s optimism over a change in the method of appointing bishops and the function of the Patriotic Association. But it is unclear whether it is real change or just nominal, in words. Underground bishops are patriotic and love their country, but the Party is suspicious of them. Freedom in episcopal appointments is “essential", but the bishops are not free to exercise their ministry. Patriotic bishops controlled in their visits with members of the universal Church. The "bugs" (hidden microphones) in a bishop’s office.
Card. Tong: The future of Sino-Vatican dialogue from an ecclesiological point of view
Card. John Tong
The Hong Kong Cardinal outlines the steps that hope to propel dialogue between China and the Holy See. Themes include the Pope's role in the appointment of bishops; A change of vision in the Patriotic Association; the possible integration of the underground bishops in the Episcopal Conference. A new article by card. John Tong, following a previous article published a few months ago on "Communion of the Church in China with the universal Church."
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