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  • » 03/15/2005, 00.00

    ISRAEL - PALESTINE

    Wall to encompass East Jerusalem



    Jericho is to be turned over to Palestinian authorities. Among Palestinians support for terrorism as a means to achieve Palestinian statehood drops considerably.

    Jerusalem (AsiaNews/Agencies) – With construction expected to be completed by the end of the year, the Israeli government confirmed today that the security wall it is building around the West Bank will encompass East Jerusalem, Maaleh Adumim (the West Bank's main Jewish settlement) and Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem.

    Palestinians have warned that the decision to unilaterally fix the border could jeopardise peace talks. "This is a policy of dictation and not negotiation," said Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.

    The route of the barrier goes around Maaleh Adumim (30,000 residents), which is almost ten kilometres east of Jerusalem.

    "Does anyone have even the slightest doubt that Maaleh Adumim is an integral part of Israel?" said Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

    Despite this controversy over the wall, Israel has agreed to hand over control of the West Bank town of Jericho to Palestinian officials on Wednesday, to be followed two or three days later by Tulkarem. Ramallah, Bethlehem and Qalqilya are also set to be returned to Palestinian police control in the near future.

    In the meantime, an intra-Palestinian summit is taking place in Cairo (Egypt). Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is hoping to get Palestinian factions and militant groups to agree to a truce with Israel.

    Support among Palestinians for terrorist violence in pursuit of Palestinian statehood has dropped sharply in recent months, according to a poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research published yesterday. Only 29 per cent of respondents approved of last month's bombing in Tel Aviv that killed five Israelis, compared to 77 per cent who supported an August bus bombing that killed 16 Israelis in the town of Beersheba. (LF)

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    See also

    15/03/2005 ISRAEL – PALESTINE
    Rosary for peace, against wall, says a Bethlehem nun


    08/02/2005 ISRAEL – PALESTINE – HOLY LAND
    Fasting as jihad for Sharon and Abbas, says Patriarch Sabbah
    Mgr Michel Sabbah, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, releases to the public his message for Lent.

    08/02/2005 ISRAEL – PALESTINE – HOLY LAND
    Sharm el-Sheikh summit, a positive and encouraging step, says Nuncio in Jerusalem
    Mgr Sambi recalls the Pope's prayers for peace in the Middle East. His sufferings are offered as a blessing for the two peoples.

    03/04/2005 ISRAEL – PALESTINE – HOLY LAND
    The Pope was always close to the sufferings of the peoples of the Holy Land, says Patriarch Sabbah


    03/04/2005 HOLY LAND – TRIPS IN ASIA (AN OVERVIEW)
    A pilgrim to the Holy Land for Christ's Jubilee in 2000




    Editor's choices

    VATICAN – CHINA
    Holy See has expressed “grave concern” over the fate of Mgr Shao Zhumin, held by police for more than a month

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The bishop of Wenzhou (Zhejiang), who belongs to the underground community, is said to be undergoing brainwashing to join the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association. Since China and the Holy See resumed talks three years ago, this is the first time that the Holy See Press Office speaks about a detained bishop. The faithful have felt too much pain over the Vatican’s extended silence. Germany’s ambassador in Beijing, Michael Clauss, has talked about the case. The Vatican’s press office calls on the faithful to pray for Bishop Shao Zhumin and “the path of the Catholic Church in China.”


    VATICAN
    Pope: The Churches of the East are alive, despite persecution and terrorism



    Receiving the participants at the "Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches" Assembly, Francis recommends the formation of the clergy. "Let us not forget that in the East even today, Christians - no matter whether Catholics, Orthodox, or Protestants - spill their blood as a seal of their witness."


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