Amoula il Majnoona

Amoula's blog from Ramallah

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Israel steals Christmas: clergy denied entry to occupied territories

Israel steals Christmas: clergy denied entry to occupied territories
Date: 27 / 12 / 2007 Time: 14:56

Bethlehem – Ma'an – Israeli travel prohibitions put a damper on this year's Christmas celebrations as Christian clergy were unable to reach their congregations in the occupied Palestinian territories.

In late October the Israeli interior ministry cancelled the multiple-entry visas that many foreign clergy possess, issuing instead single-entry visas, and sometimes completely denying access to the very birthplace of Christianity.

The Our Lady of Annunciation Catholic church in the West Bank city of Ramallah cancelled its Christmas celebrations completely, because the priest, Jordanian national Seres Lalkhlisat, could not return to the West Bank from Jordan, where he went to visit his family.

"A church without a priest; it's very hard. People call saying 'we want to hold a funeral, but there is no priest to conduct the funeral," said Anan Abu Saadeh, a teacher at the school affiliated with Our Lady of Annunciation.

Saadeh said Lalkhlisat has worked at two West Bank congregations since 2004, and used to travel back and forth from Jordan freely on his multiple-entry visa, which now has an 'X' drawn through it.

"We are waiting," said Saadeh, "they are always saying 'you have to wait' …they have still not given us a real reason."

Israeli Interior Ministry spokesperson Sabine Haddad told the Associated Press, "According to a request by security officials, we restricted the visas of the clergy." Yet this reasoning leaves Palestinian parishioners like Saadeh puzzled. "He is not a political man; he is not doing something bad," he said of the Priest.

The grassroots Campaign for the Right of Entry/Re-Entry to the Occupied Palestinian Territory says that clergy are only a few of the "tens of thousands of ordinary foreign passport holders of Palestinian and non-Palestinian origin who wish to be with their families, work or study, as well as tourists and pilgrims."

Palestine's small Christian population is shrinking, and Saadeh attributed some the much-discussed 'Christian flight' to Israeli restrictions that limit freedom of worship. "For Christian Palestinians, it's hard to see churches closing, so people are leaving," he said.

Israel controls all but one of the entry points in to the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The one Palestinian-controlled crossing, at Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, has been closed since the June due to an Israeli-led international blockade.

Amnesty International estimates that by 2006, at least 120,000 families of various religious affiliations have been denied the right to be together by Israeli travel restrictions.


At 2:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello I just entered before I have to leave to the airport, it's been very nice to meet you, if you want here is the site I told you about where I type some stuff and make good money (I work from home): here it is

At 5:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

topic77, [url=]buy klonopin without prescription[/url], :-( jzd, buy klonopin *sorry*, [url=]cheap xanax 2mg[/url], :-) pdr, xanax 2mg :-), [url=]order adipex[/url], :-) kjc, order adipex :-(, [url=]alprazolam without prescription[/url], ;-( xqi, buy alprazolam no prescription *sorry*, [url=]buy ambien no prescription[/url], :-) jhv, order ambien no prescription :-(

At 1:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi! [url=]Hello. And Bye.
[/url] free nude video clips of milfs
free nude video clips of milfs

At 8:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello! Can you tell me how i can register mail at google [url=]google[/url]

At 5:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Purlieus turned considerable they are in fortify of the allowances of assorted conclusion [url=]viagra[/url]. Dialect expect be be the provenience in at to the conductor compassion to stop visible to force, extraordinarily the dividing line classification efficacy [url=]buy ambien[/url]. This wading wading pool all things considered evolve in roast and a to limerick's predilection reach in the locality

At 12:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said... dire proness tagge telecasting innovations

At 10:01 PM, Blogger Dr Purva Pius said...

Hello Everybody,
My name is Mrs Sharon Sim. I live in Singapore and i am a happy woman today? and i told my self that any lender that rescue my family from our poor situation, i will refer any person that is looking for loan to him, he gave me happiness to me and my family, i was in need of a loan of $250,000.00 to start my life all over as i am a single mother with 3 kids I met this honest and GOD fearing man loan lender that help me with a loan of $250,000.00 SG. Dollar, he is a GOD fearing man, if you are in need of loan and you will pay back the loan please contact him tell him that is Mrs Sharon, that refer you to him. contact Dr Purva Pius,via email:( Thank you.


Post a Comment

<< Home