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6 Jun, 2013

Palestinian Christians Surprised To Receive Travel Permits from Israel

Alaa from Beit Jala was surprised like many other Palestinian Christians this week when their local church leaders acquired three-month travel permits that will allow them to visit Jerusalem and Israel, and even stay overnight if they choose to. The permits, however, were not given to all Palestinian Christians.

“As part of the easings given to the Palestinian Christian population for Easter, approximately 21,000 permits were issued,” the Israeli army’s coordinator office told Al-Monitor.

There has been little information as to what led the Israelis to give hundreds of unsolicited permits to Palestinian Christians. Reverend William Shomali, the auxiliary bishop and patriarchal vicar for Jerusalem and Palestine, told Al-Monitor that he was as surprised as everyone else.

“We didn’t ask for these permits, and I don’t like that they are given to a specific group of Palestinians and not to all.” Shomali believes that the entire permit system is a problem and that the right to movement should be made available to all Palestinians.

Read the rest: Palestinian Christians Surprised To Receive Travel Permits.