Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/20/2014 (7 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Palestinians' only means to visit through special permit issued by Israeli authorities

Palestinian Christians feel the sting of segregation acutely during Holy Week. Strict, Israeli restrictions on movement prevents their access to holy sites in nearby Jerusalem. Many holy sites have remained out of reach in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since 1967. Israel at that time defied international law to occupy and effectively annex East Jerusalem, home to the city's most sacred sites. Palestinians wishing to visit the city is through a special permit issued by Israeli authorities.

Israel issues some permits to both Christians and Muslims during religious holidays, but this can be a lengthy and bureaucratic process. Permits are usually issued to older, married Palestinians.

Israel issues some permits to both Christians and Muslims during religious holidays, but this can be a lengthy and bureaucratic process. Permits are usually issued to older, married Palestinians.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/20/2014 (7 months ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Palestine, Christians, Jerusalem, restrictions


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Having access to the Holy City or to churches there especially at this time of year is our normal right as Palestinians," one of the lucky few who have been granted permission to visit says. "It should not be associated with anything political."

"It is very painful to see people coming from the whole world, from places [as far as] Japan, and they can easily reach the holy sites while our people and Christians from Iraq, Jordan and other [Arab] countries cannot," another Christian says.

Check out our fine selection of Bibles -- by going here!

In lieu of celebrating in Jerusalem, hundreds of Palestinians gathered at the Greek Catholic Church in Ramallah's Old City to solemnly commemorate Good Friday.

Palestinian Christians there re-enacted the burial of Jesus, along with a lengthy ritual of prayer, Gospel recitations and hymn singing. Later, the Catholic congregation joined Greek Orthodox worshippers from a nearby church.

Both Orthodox and Catholic churches, which normally mark Easter at different times, celebrated the holiday the same week; also coinciding with the Jewish Passover.

Restrictions on Palestinian movement were tightened further after Israel first started erecting a separation barrier in 2002. Only about 20 percent of the structure, made of concrete slabs and fences, follows the internationally recognized border between Israel and the West Bank known as the Green Line.

The structure effectively barred Palestinians, from all different religious backgrounds, from entering Jerusalem without Israeli permission.

Israel issues some permits to both Christians and Muslims during religious holidays, but this can be a lengthy and bureaucratic process. Permits are usually issued to older, married Palestinians; and Christians have to apply through their churches and parishes. The number of permits issued are not always reflective of the population, and do not always get issued on time.

Some 17,000 permits were issued to Christians inside the West Bank this year, and 600 in the Gaza Strip.

For the faithful here, Jerusalem is often thought of as an impossibly far-away destination, despite it being only some 50 miles away. "In the past 10 years, I have not been issued a permit for the Christian holidays," one Gaza-based mother of three says.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More Middle East

Signs of desperation: Islamic State offers rewards for capture of foreign 'spies' Watch

Image of The multi-month campaign of airstrikes, led by the U.S., have been effective in harming the Islamic State, keeping them unable to operate effectively in Iraq or Syria.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While leaders of the Islamic State have claimed that the airstrikes by the U.S. and coalition allies are ineffective, it has garnered a reaction from them. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Leadership have distributed paper fliers in the north of Syria that they ... continue reading


Pakistani court rules that Christian woman will be put to death Watch

Image of The daughters of Asia Bibi, with a photograph of their mother.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A high court in Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore has confirmed the death sentence of a Christian woman who was convicted of blasphemy, destroying the hopes of her family that the conviction would be overturned or lessened to jail time. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Syria's 1,500-year-old Christian community under imminent threat in civil war Watch

Image of Christian leaders in Syria warn of an exodus on the scale of Iraq, where the 1.5 million-strong community that lived there prior to the first Gulf War is now down to as little as a tenth of its former size.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As reported by Ruth Sherlock of the Telegraph, the Syrian town of Izraa, home one of the world's oldest Christian communities, is under threat by ongoing civil war. The area's Christian community is leaving in fear for their lives, draining a once vibrant oasis ... continue reading


Jordan's Queen Rania denounces ISIS for plunging Arab world 'back to the Dark Ages' Watch

Image of Queen Raina of Jordan says that education and job creation as being the key to thwarting the extremists.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Known for her poise and beauty, Queen Rania didn't hold back in denouncing the repugnant activities of Islamic State during a powerful address to the Abu Dhabi Media Summit in the United Arab Emirates. The 44-year-old monarch spoke against the disgusting videos ... continue reading


Defense officials warn that airstrikes are not stopping Islamic State's conquest of Iraq and Syria Watch

Image of Members of the Islamic State ride a captured tank through an Iraqi city displaying their black flags.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Obama's multi-month campaign of airstrikes against Islamic State forces in Iraq and Syria, while a major moral booster for Iraqi forces and a token gesture of support from the United States, may not actually be nearly as effective as the White House has ... continue reading


Religious extremism driving majority of world acts of terror Watch

Image of Groups with a religious agenda are attributed to the majority of incidents over the past few years, according to the author's report.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Instead of making humanity more respectful of their fellow man, religion is one of the factors fueling violence and chaos in the world. Religious extremism, which disallows interpretation and those of other faiths, is the force behind the majority of the acts ... continue reading


ISIS ammo: Deadly terror group can keep fighting for two years, United Nations warns Watch

Image of One anonymous member state has provided information about

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's both a dire warning and lesson to the West when it comes to terrorist organizations.  According to the United Nations, the dreaded Islamic State, or ISIS has enough weapons now to continue fighting for two years unabated. The ironic twist? Most of ... continue reading


The long and painful war against terrorism: 2013-14 the worst years to date Watch

Image of Operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Taliban is one of the militant groups responsible for the most deaths around the world.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new report has revealed that the number of people who have been killed by militants across the globe has jumped up more than 60% from 2013, reaching a record high of nearly 18,000. This death toll could continue to rise in 2014 because of the escalating ... continue reading


The United Arab Emirates just named these two American organizations as terrorists! Watch

Image of Al-Qaeda and its affiliates throughout the Middle East and North Africa have been designated a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It came as somewhat of a shock to two Islamic groups in the United States when they found that they were recently included in a list of terrorist organizations by the United Arab Emirates. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Council on American-Islamic ... continue reading


Two U.S. Islamic groups branded as terrorists Watch

Image of Both CAIR and MAS were among more than 80 groups whose designation was approved by the UAE cabinet and announced this past weekend.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two moderate, mainstream Islamic groups in the United States feel as though they've been tarred and feathered with the same brush. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which describes itself as "America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Revelation 15:1-4
1 And I saw in heaven another sign, great and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:1, 2-3, 7-8, 9
1 [Psalm] Sing a new song to Yahweh, for he has ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:12-19
12 'But before all this happens, you will be seized ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 26th, 2014 Image

St. John Berchmans
November 26: Eldest son of a shoemaker, John was born at Diest, Brabant. He ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter