Israeli restrictions prevent Palestinian Christians from participating in Palm Sunday celebrations in Jerusalem

The ceremonies marking Palm Sunday and Holy Week, observed by churches following the Western Calendar, commenced amidst restricted measures and limitations imposed by the Israeli government. These restrictions prevented Palestinian Christians from cities and villages in the occupied West Bank from participating in the traditional Palm Sunday procession in Jerusalem. This situation arose following the suspension of entry permits to Jerusalem for Palestinian Christians, as Israel escalates its onslaught campaign on Gaza.
The traditional Palm Sunday procession begins the Church of Bethphage near the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem and culminates at the Church of Saint Anne in the Old City. The march involves scout groups, and celebrations by crowds of believers, Palestinians and pilgrims from across the world, as they march in Jerusalem. However, this year, the ceremonies appeared distinct, deviating from the usual celebrations of joy and festive ambiance. Instead, they centered on religious prayers offered by worshippers, pleading for an to the Israeli aggression on Gaza.
In Gaza, ravaged by Israeli genocide, this occasion passed without the attendance of its faithful at the Latin Church of the Holy Family. Their wounds were reopened as the procession unfolded in the Church square, with the participation of displaced Palestinians, seeking shelter from Israeli bombardment and invasion. Their presence, however, sends a clear message to the world: despite the anguish, devastation and threats of annihilation, they remain steadfast.
It is worth mentioning that Israeli restrictions on entry to the Holy City, coincide with Holy Month of Ramadan, where thousands of Palestinian Muslim worshippers are deprived from visiting Jerusalem and access to Al Aqsa Mosque is restricted even for Jerusalmites.

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