Saturday, 5 November 2011

Palestinian Christians call for an open air mass to pray for the end of the Israeli occupation

Palestinian Christians call for an open air mass to pray for the end of the Israeli occupation days after Israel announces a major confiscation of lands in the town of Beit Jala

Israeli occupation forces have once again attack our town. They have announced the confiscation of the last green area left for Beit Jala, and the Bethlehem district. And we refuse to accept the dictation of the illegal Israeli occupation.

We denounce this new Israeli action as a step towards the consolidation of injustice and their Apartheid regime; we denounce the annexation of the most beautiful lands of the Bethlehem district as a direct attack against the Palestinian people, and particularly against Palestinian Christians.

We call upon the Quartet members and the rest of the international community to act in order to stop the Israeli colonial enterprise, and particularly in the most affected areas such as in and around occupied East Jerusalem and the Bethlehem district; the fact that confiscation orders were given a day after Palestine’s admission to UNESCO unveils the heavily political nature of the Israeli colonial enterprise.

We trust that all our relevant authorities, including our government leaded by President Mahmoud Abbas, the Latin Patriarchate and civil society will do everything possible to keep the land in the hands of its rightful owners, the Palestinian people.

According to the Holy Synod conducted last year in support of the Christian presence in the Holy Land, it is a must for the church to support our presence. Accordingly, we call upon the upon the Holy See and Pope Benedict XVI to act immediately, using all possible ways, to help protecting our people.

As members of the heroic Palestinian people as well as the oldest Christian community in the world, we remain attached to the hope for peace and justice. Jesus Christ was born in Palestine, lived in Palestine, was crucified in Palestine and resurrected in Palestine. We, the descendents of his earliest followers, are still waiting for our own resurrection as a free nation.

We invite all of you to join us in an open air Holy Mass to take place at the entrance of the Cremisan valley tomorrow Friday 4th of November at 15:50. The service will be conducted by Father Ibrahim Shomali and Father Mario Cornoli.