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    » 03/29/2010, 00.00

    ISRAEL - PALESTINE

    Holy Week in Jerusalem, difficulties for Palestinian Christians

    Joshua Lapide

    The government has closed borders with the West Bank. Young people banned from Temple Mount. Christians can only enter the city with permission. Travel from Gaza almost impossible. Bishop Twal: Jesus came into Jerusalem without escort, without soldiers and without walls of separation. The concern of the pope.

    Jerusalem (AsiaNews) – Palestinian Christians are facing a series of problems this Holy Week.  They are being forced to go through a series of procedures to get to Jerusalem from Gaza and the West Bank. The Israeli government decided yesterday to close the border with the West Bank for 9 days and is only allowing access for humanitarian reasons or to Christians who have permission to celebrate Easter in Jerusalem. It is almost impossible for Christians in Gaza were to obtain permission. Because of the presence of many Jewish pilgrims and for fear of possible attacks, the entrance to the Temple Mount is still forbidden to men younger under 50.

    This year, Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants will celebrate Easter on the same dates. According to figures provided by the airport authorities, this year there is an increase of 19% of travellers to and from Israel.  

    The Council of Arab Orthodox have invited all Christians to come to Jerusalem despite the prohibitions and restrictions of the occupying power. It has asked all the heads of Churches in Jerusalem to "uphold the rights and aspirations of their communities and to oppose Israel's discriminatory policy towards freedom of worship."  

    Yesterday, meanwhile, the Catholic community of Jerusalem celebrated the start of Holy Week with Palm Sunday procession from the Mount of Olives to the Old City. The parade, consisting of at least 2000 people, including local and international pilgrims, was led by Latin Patriarch, Mgr. Fouda Twal and the Franciscan Custos of the Holy Land, Fr. Giovanni Battista Pizzaballa.

    Before the blessing, the patriarch said that Jesus entered the Holy City in the same way as the assembly "without armed escort, without soldiers and without walls of separation," referring to the tense situation in this city and the wall that rises on the border between the State of Israel and the Occupied Territories. "May the Passion of Christ save us from our passions," said Msgr. Twal.

    Yesterday, in St Peter's Square, the Angelus, Benedict XVI expressed his concern about the situation in Jerusalem: "At this time - he said - our thoughts and our hearts are directed especially to Jerusalem, where the Pascal mystery took place. I am deeply saddened by the recent conflicts and tensions that have once again occurred in this city, which is spiritual home to Christians, Jews and Muslims, a prophecy and promise of that universal reconciliation that God wants for the whole human family. Peace is a gift that God entrusts to human responsibility, to cultivate it through dialogue and respect for the rights of all, reconciliation and forgiveness. I pray, therefore, that those responsible for the fate of Jerusalem engage with courage on the path to peace and follow it with perseverance. "   Image: Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

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    See also

    24/06/2016 13:47:00 ISRAEL-PALESTINE-HOLY LAND
    Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

    On the same day, the Holy See accepts the resignation of Fouad Twal, the Latin Patriarch, and appoints the former custodian of the Holy Land as apostolic administrator of the patriarchate. Facing new challenges, addressing the geopolitical and socio-religious changes taking place in the Middle East.

     



    21/12/2004 ISRAEL - PALESTINE
    Days that seem to announce peace, says Patriarch Michael Sabbah


    14/10/2016 09:27:00 ISRAEL - PALESTINE
    Israel's wrath at UNESCO resolution on Holy Sites

    The approval of two draft resolutions on "occupied Palestine" have angered the Israeli authorities. For Prime Minister Netanyahu "the historical connection between the Jewish people and the Temple Mount” has been denied.  Palestinians applaud. The vote for final approval scheduled on October 18. Director General of Unesco: Jerusalem "indivisible" and each community deserves an "explicit recognition."


     



    14/10/2004 ISRAEL - PALESTINE
    Israel wants to limit access to al-Aqsa mosque

    Israeli authorities cite risks to Muslim worshippers from collapsing structure. Muslim scholar Mustafa Abu Sway says it is "another discriminatory act against us".



    24/03/2005 ISRAEL – PALESTINE – HOLY LAND
    Jerusalem: the Cross breaks down the wall of fear
    A talk with Fr Pierbattista Pizzaballa, OFM, Custodian of the Holy Land.



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