Member of the PLO Executive Committee and Head of the Presidential Committee on Church Affairs Hanna Amireh strongly condemned Israeli repression against Palestinians and diplomats during the celebration of Holy Fire Saturday in Occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
“It is not only that Israel has isolated our occupied capital from the rest of our country - forcing our people to apply for special military permits to access their families and holy places for religious occasions - but even Palestinians from Jerusalem were beaten when trying to reach the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.”
A tour through of the Old City organized by Palestinian Christian organizations with foreign diplomats and Jerusalem’s governor Mr. Adnan Husseini was interrupted by Israeli Occupation Forces that prevented the group from entering Jerusalem’s Old City. “The Israeli forces turned a religious occasion in to a battle camp scenario.” Mr. Amireh said “This is part of Israel’s plan to turn Jerusalem into an exclusive Jewish city. Palestinian Christians and Muslims face countless difficulties in order to reach their holy sites and conduct their celebrations, while Jews from anywhere are allowed to freely pray at their holy places. Even praying has become an act of resistance for Palestinians.”
Mr. Amireh concluded: “It is time for the international community to take real action. What was witnessed in Jerusalem was an attempt to cancel a tradition of 700 years. The Israeli government is doing everything possible in order to achieve its goal of changing Jerusalem’s landscape, by building more settlements, demolishing more Palestinian homes, revoking more IDs and by attempting to prevent the normal celebration of Christian and Muslim religious events.”